compendious

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

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

compendiously

adverb

compendiousness

noun

compendious was our Word of the Day on 12/10/2011. Hear the podcast!

Examples of compendious in a Sentence

  1. her compendious knowledge of the monarch butterfly

  2. a compendious summary of the referendum before the voters

Recent Examples of compendious from the Web

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.

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").

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

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