com·​pen·​di·​um | \ kəm-ˈpen-dē-əm How to pronounce compendium (audio) \
plural compendiums or compendia\ kəm-​ˈpen-​dē-​ə How to pronounce compendia (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 The Principles of Psychology, a massive compendium, didn't appear until 1890. TheWeek, "How William James encourages us to believe in the possible," 2 Feb. 2020 When tuned for this purpose, their model weeded out 96 percent of the cables while retaining 80 percent of those that wound up in the compendium. Matthew Hutson, Scientific American, "Automating History’s First Draft," 30 Nov. 2019 The bulk of Fyllo’s appeal is an online platform called CannaBrain: a detailed compendium, zip code by zip code, of the fractured U.S. legal landscape that enables automated compliance and advertising. Richard Morgan, Fortune, "This Startup Wants to Be the PayPal of Weed," 24 Nov. 2019 The Chronicle also owns Arts & Letters Daily, an online compendium of articles about culture. Matt Schudel, Washington Post, "Corbin Gwaltney, co-founder of the Chronicle of Higher Education, dies at 97," 31 July 2019 Economist Books; 272 pages; $11.99 and £8.99 A compendium of our explainer articles and daily charts, which spell out why Americans are sleeping more, why the global suicide rate is falling and why carrots were not always orange. The Economist, "Giant leaps To the Moon and back," 5 Dec. 2019 Huge compendiums of videos documenting instances of police brutality have been set up on public Google Drives. Mary Hui, Quartz, "The Hong Kong protests are the most live-streamed protests ever," 11 Nov. 2019 Gold’s column — a daily compendium of local anecdotes and observations — was an immediate hit. John Kelly, Washington Post, "Helping Hand history: Column’s annual fundraiser started as a token effort," 10 Nov. 2019 In 1971, Joni Mitchell produced Morning Glory on the Vine: a compendium of handwritten lyrics and drawings by the musical icon herself. David Canfield,, "Here's a sneak peek at Joni Mitchell's beautiful handcrafted book," 22 Oct. 2019

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

5 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Compendium.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for compendium


How to pronounce compendium (audio)

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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