com·​pen·​di·​ous | \ kəm-ˈpen-dē-əs How to pronounce compendious (audio) \

Definition of compendious

: marked by brief expression of a comprehensive matter : concise and comprehensive a compendious summary also : comprehensive her compendious knowledge of the subject

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Other Words from compendious

compendiously adverb
compendiousness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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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").

Examples of compendious in a Sentence

her compendious knowledge of the monarch butterfly a compendious summary of the referendum before the voters
Recent Examples on the Web Although employment has begun to recover, the need to create jobs has prompted several Indian states to suspend many of the country’s compendious labour regulations. The Economist, 27 June 2020 Another documents the founding in 1974 — by Joan Nestle, Deborah Edel, Sahli Cavallaro, Pamela Olin and Julia Stanley — of a compendious and still-growing register of lesbian culture called the Herstory Archives. Julianne Mcshane, New York Times, 29 Aug. 2019 Nonetheless, astronomers and astrophysicists came together to write a single compendious paper about the event. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, 16 Oct. 2017 Each event centered on performances of a supreme, compendious Bach masterpiece. James R. Oestreich, New York Times, 25 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'compendious.' 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 compendious

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of compendious was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Compendious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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