\ 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

The singer then posted an image of the proposal on Instagram—and her face pretty much sums up the entire thing. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "Taylor Swift Had the Best Reaction When Two Super-Fans Got Engaged Right in Front of Her," 14 July 2018 Amnesty said those words, spoken by a military commander in a recording of a telephone call obtained by the group's investigators, sum up the mindset of Myanmar soldiers in dealing with the Muslim Rohingya. Verena Dobnik, The Christian Science Monitor, "Amnesty International: Myanmar military should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity," 27 June 2018 Real Salt Lake's week summed up in one reaction RSL hosted Houston and Seattle in a four-day span, walked away with a pair of victories and is now on a three-match winning streak. Avi Creditor,, "The MLS XI, Week 14: Don't Hold Your Breath for an MLS Cup Threematch," 4 June 2018 Knocking, with his grudge -- Garcia's motive -- summed up by the prosecution in a single word: revenge. CBS News, "Was revenge the motive behind Omaha stabbing deaths?," 2 June 2018 The women’s movement is summed up by the can of White Rain hair spray that Faith and her roommate once relied on to fix their hair into beehives, now discarded to hiss its contents into the garbage can. Ruth Franklin, The Atlantic, "The Female Persuasion Should Be a Literary Breakout. Will It?," 19 Apr. 2018 The cause is summed up by a new spaceship-like showroom slap in the centre of the city that belongs to Tesla, the innovative car firm created by Elon Musk, an eccentric American billionaire. The Economist, "Germany’s conservative economic model is being put to the test," 12 Apr. 2018 Between 2001 and 2004, Carey endured a personal nadir best summed up by a single word: Glitter. Jordan Runtagh,, "A Complete Guide to All of Mariah Carey's Number One Hits," 11 Apr. 2018 If one anecdote can sum up how good the current Mazda MX-5 Miata is, consider the following. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "All highs, no lows: The 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata," 7 July 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



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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the setting in which something occurs

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