summary

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

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 also ˈsəm-rē How to pronounce summary (audio) \
plural summaries

Definition of summary (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from summary

Adjective

summarily \ (ˌ)sə-​ˈmer-​ə-​lē How to pronounce summarily (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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Even a 110-page long summary version is laden with mind-spinning numbers. Ivan Nechepurenko, New York Times, "Putin Aims to Revive the Economy With a Plan. And Pianos.," 5 June 2019 The president’s budget message, top priorities, and summary tables will come March 11. Kate Davidson, WSJ, "Trump to Begin Releasing Fiscal 2020 Budget Plan on March 11," 4 Feb. 2019 The secretary of state’s office then certifies the official ballot title for the petition, which consists of the ballot summary language and the auditor’s summary of its fiscal impact. Jason Hancock, kansascity, "To limit initiative petitions in Missouri, some want to charge fees | The Kansas City Star," 7 Feb. 2018 There is also summary information about the journal’s authors—tables group them by country and institution. Matt Warren, Science | AAAS, "Firm that tallies controversial journal impact scores moves to provide more context," 27 June 2018 Missouri already has a Pregnancy Associated Mortality Review Board within the Department of Health and Senior Services that collects data and issues summary reports on maternal deaths in the state. Andy Marso, kansascity, "Missouri among worst nationally in maternal deaths. Reps say no to study on issue," 3 June 2018 Total loans and leases grew by almost 5 percent from the same period in 2017, to about $81.8 billion, according to the FDIC's summary report on Wisconsin banks. Paul Gores, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin banks post strong first quarter, FDIC report shows," 22 May 2018 Under the bill, possession of a small amount of marijuana — 30 grams or less — would be a summary offense rather than a misdemeanor. Christina Tatu, Philly.com, "Where marijuana has been decriminalized in Pa.," 9 May 2018 One special forces commander, Mahmoud al-Werfalli, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for his role in seven summary mass executions in which 33 people were killed. Declan Walsh, New York Times, "Libyan Strongman’s Illness Stokes Fears of a Succession Feud," 19 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Here's a summary of the teams which have made the most buzz with their roster moves thus far. Dana Scott, azcentral, "NBA free agency: Additions, subtractions, questions while we wait on Kawhi Leonard," 2 July 2019 Which is also a fair summary of the impact of the Roberts Court — an impact that is only likely to deepen in the coming years. Scott Lemieux, Vox, "5 takeaways from the Supreme Court’s just-ended term," 29 June 2019 Here is a summary of the action in last night’s debate. Alan Murray, Fortune, "Bashing Big Business at the Democratic Debates: CEO Daily," 28 June 2019 The record—just the second the magazine had ever included—provides a brisk 11-minute audio summary of the space race, from the groundbreaking chirps of the Soviet satellite Sputnik to Armstrong and Aldrin’s conversations on the lunar surface. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "Apollo 8's commander reflects on the sights and sounds of the space age," 28 June 2019 Selecting the one for Margot Lee Shetterly’s science history Hidden Figures brings up a 23-page document, with each page providing a summary of each of the book’s chapters. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Scribd’s latest reading discovery feature is like CliffsNotes for the latest, best-selling books," 26 June 2019 By contrast, the history of Eastern Europe, in that same period, is one of failure, as is also made clear by Kershaw’s at times perfunctory summary of Eastern Bloc politics. Anne Applebaum, The New York Review of Books, "The Lure of Western Europe," 6 June 2019 Why would someone who watched a television show on a Sunday night want to read a summary of it on Monday morning? Christian Lorentzen, Harper's magazine, "Like This or Die," 10 Apr. 2019 For the benefit of guests arriving for London Fashion Week, here’s a brief summary of the chaos. Sarah Mower, Vogue, "The Brexit Deadline Is Looming—Here’s How It Will Affect London Fashion Week," 14 Feb. 2019

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.

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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

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Statistics for summary

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for summary

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

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More Definitions for summary

summary

adjective

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

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 summarily (audio) \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on summary

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with summary

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for summary

Spanish Central: Translation of summary

Nglish: Translation of summary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of summary for Arabic Speakers

Comments on summary

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