\ 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 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 Intentionally or not, the work seems to sum up the sorrow that underlies the Black Lives Matter movement. Doug Maccash,, "New Ogden museum exhibit captures the dreadful 2020 gestalt with bullets, blood and tears," 8 Sep. 2020 To sum up: Liberals push to relax rules protecting ballot integrity on the pretext of protecting society’s vulnerable from Covid-19. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Rhode Island’s Senior Ballot Harvest," 7 Sep. 2020 America’s seeming unwillingness to acknowledge the toll these events have taken was put on full blast during the protest, and few could sum up the relevance of the day better than Johnson. Rachel Jones, National Geographic, "'A fractured and traumatized nation' marches on, 57 years later," 29 Aug. 2020 The proven scientific benefits of mindfulness meditation are hard to sum up (so much so that SELF has a whole separate explainer on it). Anna Borges, SELF, "How to Meditate When You Have No Idea Where to Start," 1 Sep. 2020 In a 2015 paper, a team of USGS researchers tried to sum up the myriad toxic substances that would be stirred up and spread around by massive storms and floods. Tom Philpott, Wired, "The Biblical Flood That Will Drown California," 29 Aug. 2020 Few images better sum up the strange distortions of time and routine under lockdown than Salvador Dalí’s melting clock, formally known as The Persistence of Memory. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "With Vogue’s September Issue, a Collectible Tote Featuring a Dalí Logo," 25 Aug. 2020 When Avant's daughter Nicole first approached Pharrell about the project, he was intimidated, unsure of how to sum up her father's titanic career in one song. Alex Suskind,, "How to make a song about a living legend, according to Pharrell," 20 Aug. 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 26 Sep. 2020.

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