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 The book includes a Krewe-niverse compendium, with short glosses on the identities or activities of each group. Will Coviello,, "'I Wanna Do That' explores New Orleans' Carnival 'Krewe-niverse'," 4 Jan. 2021 Concerned Health Professionals of New York and Physicians for Social Responsibility this week released the seventh edition of their compendium of studies on the dangers of fracking. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, "Our Stuff Weighs More Than All Living Things on the Planet," 17 Dec. 2020 The painting is a challenging compendium of the new ideas, formal experiments and theories then current in advanced art, made personal and distinctly American. William C. Agee, WSJ, "New American Movement," 25 Dec. 2020 In addition, she has been nominated for best classical album, best musical show album, and best classical compendium. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, "Shaker Heights’ Elaine Martone earns Grammy nomination for classical production work," 25 Nov. 2020 This clever little book is, as the title promises, a compendium of nothing but carrot recipes—carrot soup, carrot gumdrops, macaroni and carrot—though the titular root is a placeholder (or maybe a metaphor) as much as a literal ingredient. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, "The Best Cookbooks of 2020," 15 Dec. 2020 Minnesota already has a 300-plus page compendium of doom called the State Hazard Mitigation Plan. Jennifer Bjorhus, Star Tribune, "New index shows riskiest places for Minnesota's natural hazards," 5 Dec. 2020 Unlike our contest for fake trivia about summer, whose results ran at the end of September, Week 1410 will cough up our latest compendium of misinformation several weeks before the end of autumn. Washington Post, "Style Conversational Week 1410: Bzzzz! You’re out!," 12 Nov. 2020 Julia Bainbridge took a cross-country road trip in 2018, collecting recipes and tracing schools of thoughts around the subject (a big one: imitate classic cocktails or no?) into a compendium that considers every angle. Bill Addison, Los Angeles Times, "The 11 best new food books to add to your collection," 3 Dec. 2020

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

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Compendium.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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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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