\ˈsəm-ˌəp \

Definition of sum-up 

(Entry 1 of 2)

sum 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


in summing up the evidence against the defendant, the district attorney presented fact after damning fact

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That about sums up the mindset of Demery, a 6-foot-6 forward who went to Northside Christian Academy in Charlotte. Chapel Fowler, charlotteobserver, "Here's what this former Charlotte prep star did to get noticed at his Hornets workout," 2 June 2018 The Frenchman seemed only too happy to oblige and this seemingly small gesture summed up a career which has been built upon creating memories for fans that will last a lifetime., "PHOTO: Arsene Wenger Signs off at Arsenal With Wonderful Gesture Following 5-0 Over Burnley," 8 May 2018 That image—abundance at the center of a depopulated landscape—sums up the reality of rural Kansas. Michelle Weber, Longreads, "It Turns Out No One’s in Kansas Anymore," 1 May 2018 Who knew a few short lines could so perfectly sum up the insanity of the holidays? Peyton Price, Redbook, "These Hilarious Haikus Will Make You Dread the Holidays a Little Less," 3 Dec. 2014 This dynamic can be neatly summed up in a YouTube video about life in Portland. Mike Seely,, "A Washington state town had become listless. Then a bar came to town and everything began to change," 9 July 2018 Our economic policy can be summed up in three very simple but beautiful words, jobs, jobs, jobs. Fox News, "Ben Shapiro blasts 'idiotic' Statue of Liberty protest," 6 July 2018 The whole situation was best summed up in the moments after Janzuaj’s goal. Jonathan Clegg, WSJ, "Belgium Beats England in World Cup’s No-Win Game," 28 June 2018 As other tweeters noted, Ellison's excoriating view of his fellow occupants of the galaxy could be summed up in one of his most famous quotes. Robert Jablon, USA TODAY, "'Star Trek' scriptwriter Harlan Ellison, master of sci-fi literature, dies at 84," 28 June 2018

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


1894, in the meaning defined above


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

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Dictionary Entries near sum-up

sum total


sum up




sun's mean longitude

Statistics for sum-up

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Time Traveler for sum-up

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

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Comments on sum-up

What made you want to look up sum-up? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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