sum·​ma ˈsu̇-mə How to pronounce summa (audio)
plural summae ˈsu̇-ˌmī How to pronounce summa (audio)
: a comprehensive treatise
especially : one by a scholastic philosopher
: a synthesis or summary of any subject

Examples of summa in a Sentence

the director's book is basically a summa of his views on the nature of the theatrical experience
Recent Examples on the Web Alas, Dostoevsky — all of whose major characters clearly embody aspects of his own extremist personality — died in 1881, shortly after completing this summa of his most deeply felt themes and obsessions. Michael Dirda, Washington Post, 24 Aug. 2023 The Conservative Sensibility is a kind of summa, a Ce que je crois. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 7 June 2023 The effort to enact these kinds of laws can be seen as the sum and summa of how Republican’s view democracy, which essentially holds that Democratic party electoral victories are inherently illegitimate. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 22 June 2021 The Inevitability of Tragedy, Gewen’s first book, is a manifesto or summa of his efforts to convert Kissinger’s critics and would-be prosecutors into his students. Jim Sleeper, The New Republic, 13 Aug. 2020 Baldwin Wallace's newest employee is Jeannie Vassanelli, catering and events manager and a 1998 BW summa cum laude graduate. Plain Dealer Business Staff,, 18 June 2017 This year, Prinicipal Jessie Marion addressed the crowd along with student speakers Callie Brennan and Catthi Ly, summa cum laude. Greg Mellen, Orange County Register, 15 June 2017 Pena-Sultanay graduated summa cum laude from MCC's Honors College at the 53rd Commencement Exercises on May 27. Courant Community, 27 June 2017 The Niles resident is a communications and media studies major and recently graduated summa cum laude from the De Pere, Wisconsin school. Pioneer Press,, 9 June 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'summa.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Medieval Latin, from Latin, sum

First Known Use

1725, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of summa was in 1725

Dictionary Entries Near summa

Cite this Entry

“Summa.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

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