com·​pen·​di·​um | \ kəm-ˈpen-dē-əm How to pronounce compendium (audio) \
plural compendiums or compendia\ kəm-​ˈpen-​dē-​ə How to pronounce compendium (audio) \

Definition of compendium

1 : a brief summary of a larger work or of a field of knowledge : abstract a one-volume compendium of the multivolume original
2a : a list of a number of items
b : collection, compilation a compendium of folk tales

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Examples of compendium in a Sentence

a one-volume compendium of information He published a compendium of folk tales.
Recent Examples on the Web Baszile’s beautifully produced compendium of essays, poems, and photographs explores Black Americans’ connection to the soil., "Whether you possess a large yard or small windowsill, books about gardens can help satisfy cravings for plant life," 22 Apr. 2021 The tradition started in 1845, when the house began publishing an annual compendium of its most prized pieces as a mail-order catalogue. Olivia Hosken, Town & Country, "Gal Gadot Wears Tiffany & Co to Present at the Golden Globes," 1 Mar. 2021 The managers will try to rebut them as much with constitutional arguments as an overwhelming compendium of evidence. New York Times, "Impeachment Case Aims to Marshal Outrage of Capitol Attack Against Trump," 7 Feb. 2021 More than a thousand miles away, in London, where the Great Plague of 1665 had not been forgotten, an enterprising bookseller published a compendium of information for anxious fellow-citizens. Clare Bucknell, The New Yorker, "What Do We Want from Poetry in Times of Crisis?," 22 Dec. 2020 The Maryland Zoo manages the golden frog studbook—a compendium of genealogies, maintained to ensure the best possible genetic pairings. Rachel Nuwer, Smithsonian Magazine, "A Small Band of Panamanian Golden Frogs Is Saving Their Species From Oblivion," 16 Mar. 2021 At the same time, Cheryl was deep in the manuscript for her next cookbook and first solo book project, a compendium that honors the history of Southern baking and includes nods to African American contributions—both personal and pivotal. Keia Mastrianni, Southern Living, "Back in the Day Bakery Is Savannah's Sweetest Spot," 9 Mar. 2021 To Weitzman, the shoes came to represent more than a dispassionate compendium of once-popular styles. David Lyman, The Enquirer, "Weitzman shoes designed 'for effect, not comfort' on display at Taft Museum," 19 Feb. 2021 This expansive compendium of work in different mediums – including photos, essays, poetry, recipes, tweets and memes – represents the radical imagination and provocative work being done by Black creators today. Barbara Vandenburgh, USA TODAY, "10 must-read Black History Month book recommendations: Cicely Tyson, Angie Thomas and more," 4 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'compendium.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of compendium

1589, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for compendium

Medieval Latin, from Latin, saving, shortcut, from compendere to weigh together, from com- + pendere to weigh — more at pendant

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Time Traveler for compendium

Time Traveler

The first known use of compendium was in 1589

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Statistics for compendium

Last Updated

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Compendium.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for compendium



English Language Learners Definition of compendium

: a collection of things (such as photographs, stories, facts, etc.) that have been gathered together and presented as a group especially in the form of a book

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