summary

adjective
sum·ma·ry | \ˈsə-mə-rē 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 also ˈsəm-rē \
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 \ 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

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 Requests last fall by The Times for documents were answered only with summary data of recent complaints, 31 legislative investigations since 2006. John Myers, latimes.com, "California Legislature discloses seven sexual misconduct investigations from 1990s and 2000s," 6 Apr. 2018 The next major task facing the Style and Drafting Committee will be approving the ballot-title and summary language for each of the dozen measures. Sun-Sentinel.com, "Offshore drilling combined with vaping in ballot measure proposal," 5 Apr. 2018 On March 16, Walton told Municipal Court Judge William Austin Meehan Jr. that the charges against Rahman would be resolved with a plea to a summary offense of criminal mischief, signaling that the three other charges would be dropped. Julie Shaw, Philly.com, "Man accused of defacing Rizzo statue gets community service," 28 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Here’s a refresher course for ballet theatergoers (summaries by colleague Matthew J. Palm, the Orlando Sentinel’s arts writer). Anne Dunlap, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Bolshoi Ballet on the big screen," 27 June 2018 The city released a summary for the trial budget in March. Philip Athey, azcentral, "Did Phoenix leaders raise property taxes and lie about it?," 9 July 2018 The oncology group released a summary of the Herceptin study along with about 5,000 other cancer trials Wednesday, ahead of planned presentations at its annual meeting in Chicago in early June. Peter Loftus, WSJ, "Reducing Use of Roche Drug for Breast Cancer Didn’t Hurt Efficacy, Study Says," 16 May 2018 On Tuesday evening, the government released the executive summary of a 2016 report by the country’s Auditor General, a ministry, which Mr. Mahathir said Saturday would be declassified. Austin Ramzy, New York Times, "Now Free, Malaysia’s Anwar Ibrahim Attacks System That Jailed Him Twice," 15 May 2018 And on Thursday, the Pentagon released a summary of its months-long investigation into an October 4 ambush that left four US soldiers dead in a remote part of Niger. Ryan Browne, CNN, "Senior US Navy SEAL leaders in Africa suspended over alleged sexual misconduct," 11 May 2018 President Trump has even threatened Senator John Tester for releasing a summary of the allegations the Veterans’ Affairs Committee received from more than 20 people. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Pence’s Doctor Complained About Ronny Jackson to Top White House Aides: Report," 1 May 2018 Prior to the negotiations, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative released a summary of objectives of the renegotiations. Sarah Gray, Fortune, "Here's What the Trump Administration's NAFTA Negotiations Mean for You," 25 Apr. 2018 Committee Republicans released a summary of 44 findings that concludes that there were Russian cyberattacks on U.S. political institutions and that Russians leveraged social media in the U.S. to sow discord. Mary Clare Jalonick, chicagotribune.com, "House intel ends probe, OKs report on Russian meddling," 22 Mar. 2018

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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Phrases Related to summary

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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

: 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 \

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 \

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 \ adverb

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