\ ˈsəm-ˌəp How to pronounce sum-up (audio) \

Definition of sum-up

 (Entry 1 of 2)

sum up

summed up; summing up; sums up

Definition of sum up (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to be the sum of : bring to a total 10 victories summed up his record
2a : to present or show succinctly : summarize sum up the evidence presented
b : to assess and then describe briefly : size up

intransitive verb

: to present a summary or recapitulation

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Examples of sum-up in a Sentence

Verb in summing up the evidence against the defendant, the district attorney presented fact after damning fact
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Those five words, contained in the 40-year-old Talking Heads song ‘Once in a Lifetime,’ sum up the warped sense of time that has defined this quarantine year about as well as any five words could. Mark Olsen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Indie Focus: Much-needed joy in ‘David Byrne’s American Utopia’," 16 Oct. 2020 Those two words sum up how chef Melissa Araujo feels about opening Alma, her first brick-and-mortar restaurant, in New Orleans’ Bywater neighborhood. Beth D'addono,, "Chef Melissa Araujo opens Alma in Bywater," 5 Oct. 2020 The words sum up a mood that can be found all around the American landscape, in its cities, its rich suburbs or its small towns, in the introspective period that precedes a Presidential election. WSJ, "A George Melloan Sampler: A Global View Across the Decades," 1 Oct. 2020 In Mississippi, poll managers get paid $75 for an election, but the county’s board of supervisors may pump that sum up by $50 per election. Sandra Gutierrez G., Popular Science, "COVID has created a shortage of poll workers. Here’s how to step in.," 1 Oct. 2020 In Columbia, three words sum up the plight of Randolph Cemetery. Kirk Johnson, New York Times, "A Counter to Confederate Monuments, Black Cemeteries Tell a Fuller Story of the South," 30 Sep. 2020 Next, a moderator would sum up the answer before moving to the next question. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: Supreme Court fight, presidential debates," 22 Sep. 2020 Karen Lemmey, the sculpture curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, says that every monument is erected for a purpose: to sum up a system of beliefs, to express power, to assert identity. Washington Post, "Why a Russian billionaire wants to buy controversial statues that were taken down," 21 Sep. 2020 Especially with works that sum up 2020 in a flaming nutshell. René A. Guzman,, "San Antonio artists make light of 2020 with miniature dumpster fires and other works," 10 Sep. 2020

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


1848, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for sum-up

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The first known use of sum-up was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Sum-up.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

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