summary

adjective
sum·​ma·​ry | \ ˈsə-mə-rē How to pronounce summary (audio) also ˈsəm-rē or -ˌmer-ē \

Definition of summary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : comprehensive especially : covering the main points succinctly
2a : done without delay or formality : quickly executed a summary dismissal
b : of, relating to, or using a summary proceeding a summary trial

summary

noun
sum·​ma·​ry | \ ˈsə-mə-rē How to pronounce summary (audio) also ˈsəm-rē \
plural summaries

Definition of summary (Entry 2 of 2)

: an abstract, abridgment, or compendium especially of a preceding discourse

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from summary

Adjective

summarily \ (ˌ)sə-​ˈmer-​ə-​lē How to pronounce summary (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for summary

Adjective

concise, terse, succinct, laconic, summary, pithy, compendious mean very brief in statement or expression. concise suggests the removal of all that is superfluous or elaborative. a concise description terse implies pointed conciseness. a terse reply succinct implies the greatest possible compression. a succinct letter of resignation laconic implies brevity to the point of seeming rude, indifferent, or mysterious. an aloof and laconic stranger summary suggests the statement of main points with no elaboration or explanation. a summary listing of the year's main events pithy adds to succinct or terse the implication of richness of meaning or substance. a comedy sharpened by pithy one-liners compendious applies to what is at once full in scope and brief and concise in treatment. a compendious dictionary

Examples of summary in a Sentence

Adjective a summary account of the accident obviously a one-volume encyclopedia can offer only a very summary account of the American Civil War Noun He concluded the report with a brief summary. They gave a summary of their progress in building the bridge.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The campaign's summary notes how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's director, Robert Redfield, contacted his counterpart in China and offered to send U.S. experts to aid its investigation on Jan. 3. Katherine Doyle, Washington Examiner, "Trump campaign team launches political organizing app in play to broaden digital reach," 23 Apr. 2020 Local health departments also can access summary disease reports. Rachel Dissell, cleveland, "Ohio releases demographic data on coronavirus cases, deaths for the first time," 6 Apr. 2020 Like Alcohol Amendment turned in the petition summary language and an initial 1,000 signatures to the Ohio attorney general on Monday. Jackie Borchardt, Cincinnati.com, "Ohio 2020 recreational marijuana legalization measure filed: 5 things to know," 2 Mar. 2020 The finding followed two separate internal affairs inquiries, according to the board’s summary report. oregonlive, "Former Portland detective racked up nearly 100,000 miles on his take-home police car in 3 years," 3 Jan. 2020 Their activities range from retailing smuggled cigarettes to providing cable TV, electricity or transport service, and are also known to extort businesses and carry out summary executions. Washington Post, "Number of shootings down in Rio de Janeiro, report says," 2 Jan. 2020 State finance officials said anyone can read those summary documents and raise questions themselves. Jason Pohl, ProPublica, "California Gave Billions in Taxpayer Dollars to Improve Jails. But That’s Not How These Sheriffs Are Spending It.," 28 Dec. 2019 The State Department also barred entry to two Paraguayan officials for corruption and a Russian official US officials have accused of presiding over the summary execution of 27 men in Chechnya. BostonGlobe.com, "The State Department on Tuesday barred a Saudi diplomat from entering the United States, citing his involvement in ‘‘gross violations of human rights’’ in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi last year.," 11 Dec. 2019 Think about these questions and formulate your responses into a solid qualifications summary to open your resume. Dear Sam | Expert Resume, al, "Leave hiring managers feeling ‘full’ and ‘satisfied’ after reviewing your resume," 22 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Because of a production error, an article on Sunday about the explosion in Nashville, described in a front-page capsule summary, was omitted from some editions. New York Times, "Corrections: Dec. 29, 2020," 29 Dec. 2020 An easy-to-read summary like Apple’s nutrition label is useful, but not even developers know where the data their apps collect will eventually end up. Sidney Fussell, Wired, "How Your Digital Trails Wind Up in the Police’s Hands," 28 Dec. 2020 Very helpful to have an informative and well-written summary. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "2020’s 20 most-commented stories," 25 Dec. 2020 Funnily enough, that is an accurate summary of the situation. Washington Post, "Activist posing as Smithfield CEO hoaxes Fox’s Maria Bartiromo," 23 Dec. 2020 Renters can get up to 12 months of help paying for their housing, including overdue rent and up to three months prospective rent, according to a National Low-Income Housing Coalition summary of the legislation. John Simerman, NOLA.com, "Stimulus bill to help thousands on the brink in New Orleans area: 'Is it enough? I doubt it'," 22 Dec. 2020 State officials have said infections and hospitalizations now appear to be leveling off statewide, noting in a weekly summary that there was a 35% decrease in new cases over the last week compared to the week before. Anchorage Daily News, "Tracking COVID-19 in Alaska: 10 deaths and 429 cases reported Tuesday," 22 Dec. 2020 Many questions remain about the stimulus checks, but here is what is known so far, based on a summary that was released by lawmakers and published by The Washington Post. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Stimulus checks of $600 are coming — here's who will get one," 21 Dec. 2020 So here’s a short cut: Ellen and I made a summary, with clips from some of our favorites, and with help from our favorite sponsor—Deloitte CEO Joe Ucuzoglu. David Meyer, Fortune, "What a year it was for Leadership Next," 15 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'summary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of summary

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1509, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for summary

Adjective

Middle English, from Medieval Latin summarius, from Latin summa sum

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about summary

Time Traveler for summary

Time Traveler

The first known use of summary was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for summary

Cite this Entry

“Summary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/summary. Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for summary

summary

adjective
How to pronounce summary (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of summary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: using few words to give the most important information about something
formal : done quickly in a way that does not follow the normal process

summary

noun
How to pronounce summary (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of summary (Entry 2 of 2)

: a brief statement that gives the most important information about something

summary

adjective
sum·​ma·​ry | \ ˈsə-mə-rē How to pronounce summary (audio) \

Kids Definition of summary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : expressing or covering the main points briefly : concise a summary account
2 : done without delay summary punishment

summary

noun
plural summaries

Kids Definition of summary (Entry 2 of 2)

: a short statement of the main points (as in a book or report)

summary

adjective
sum·​ma·​ry | \ ˈsə-mə-rē How to pronounce summary (audio) \

Legal Definition of summary

: done immediately, concisely, and without usual formal procedures especially : used in or done by summary proceeding — compare plenary

Other Words from summary

summarily \ sə-​ˈmer-​ə-​lē How to pronounce summary (audio) \ adverb

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on summary

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!