Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

compendious

play
adjective com·pen·di·ous \kəm-ˈpen-dē-əs\

Definition of compendious

  1. :  marked by brief expression of a comprehensive matter :  concise and comprehensive <a compendious summary>; also :  comprehensive <her compendious knowledge of the subject>

compendiously

adverb

compendiousness

noun


Examples of compendious in a sentence

  1. <her compendious knowledge of the monarch butterfly>

  2. <a compendious summary of the referendum before the voters>



Did You Know?

In current use, compendious is most often applied to things that are full in scope and concise in treatment. But the word also shares a sense of "brief in statement or expression" with synonyms concise, terse, succinct, pithy, laconic, and summary. Concise simply suggests the removal of all that is superfluous or elaborative ("a concise description"). Terse implies pointed conciseness ("a terse reply"). Succinct implies the greatest possible compression ("a succinct letter of resignation"). Pithy adds the implication of richness of meaning or substance ("pithy one-liners"). Laconic implies brevity to the point of seeming rude or indifferent ("a laconic stranger"). Summary suggests the stating of main points with no elaboration ("a summary listing of the year’s main events").

14th Century

First Known Use of compendious

14th century

Synonym Discussion of compendious

concise, terse, succinct, laconic, summary, pithy, compendious mean very brief in statement or expression. concise suggests the removal of all that is superfluous or elaborative <a concise description>. terse implies pointed conciseness <a terse reply>. succinct implies the greatest possible compression <a succinct letter of resignation>. laconic implies brevity to the point of seeming rude, indifferent, or mysterious <an aloof and laconic stranger>. summary suggests the statement of main points with no elaboration or explanation <a summary listing of the year's main events>. pithy adds to succinct or terse the implication of richness of meaning or substance <a comedy sharpened by pithy one-liners>. compendious applies to what is at once full in scope and brief and concise in treatment <a compendious dictionary>.

Learn More about compendious


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up compendious? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to lessen in amount, effect, or force

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

two-chairs-on-a-pier-by-the-ocean-in-summer

Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?

estival hiemal vernal brumal
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ