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sum up

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summed up; summing up; sums up

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to present a summary or recapitulation

Example Sentences

Verb in summing up the evidence against the defendant, the district attorney presented fact after damning fact
Recent Examples on the Web
The headline writer was endeavoring to sum up what felt like a unanimity of spirit that day. Bob Greene, WSJ, 8 Nov. 2022 Based on Lizzy Goodman’s 2017 oral history, Meet Me in the Bathroom aims to sum up this glorious NYC rock moment and the bands who were part of it: the Strokes, Interpol, TV on the Radio, the Rapture, the Moldy Peaches, the Liars, the YYYs. Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone, 8 Nov. 2022 The story itself is difficult to sum up, but all the drama and action essentially boils down to the whereabouts of a sword: who’s wielding it and who’s stealing. Deanna Janes, Harper's BAZAAR, 24 Oct. 2022 Republican activist and former congressional candidate Matthew Foldi used Abrams’ word to sum up the state of Democrats’ current political fortune. Gabriel Hays, Fox News, 20 Oct. 2022 The tagline, which is already live in some channels, and will launch officially this quarter, is meant to sum up what might surprise customers — like Aldi’s displaying items in cartons rather than stacking them on shelves. Danielle Wiener-bronner, CNN, 8 Oct. 2022 On a November day in 1985, the new Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev tried to sum up his first summit with then-President Ronald Reagan in Geneva. Brian Murphy, Washington Post, 30 Aug. 2022 When Riopelle died, Danny Zelisko, a longtime friend who booked his concerts in the Valley, tried to sum up what made Riopelle such a beloved entertainer. Ed Masley, The Arizona Republic, 4 May 2022 Mark Cuban's Twitter rant about Musk Leave it to fellow straight-shooting billionaire Mark Cuban to sum up his thoughts on Elon Musk’s quest to buy Twitter. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, 14 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use


1848, in the meaning defined above


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

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

Dictionary Entries Near sum-up

Cite this Entry

“Sum-up.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

sum up


: to state concisely
a sentence that sums up the important ideas
: to present a summary

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