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 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 Some members of the office were particularly disappointed that Barr did not release summary information the special counsel team had prepared, according to two people familiar with their reactions. The Washington Post, oregonlive, "Mueller report ’much more acute’ than Barr summary, team members say," 4 Apr. 2019 Newman was given a summary citation, also known as summary harassment, which usually results in nothing but a fine, Broadwater said. Allen Kim, CNN, "Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Anthony Chickillo charged with assault in domestic dispute," 21 Oct. 2019 The board reviews summary inspection reports in closed-door sessions. oregonlive, "State inspections of funeral homes fall short in Oregon," 15 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Tranquilli, who was temporarily reassigned to summary appeals on Tuesday, is now barred from hearing any cases, a court order issued by President Judge Kim Berkeley Clark says, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Mahita Gajanan, Time, "Accused of Calling a Black Juror 'Aunt Jemima,' Pennsylvania Judge Barred From Cases," 7 Feb. 2020 Gregory Miller, cofounder of the Open Source Election Technology Institute, has the best summary of the whole debacle. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "The Iowa caucus debacle is great for America’s disinformation-peddling adversaries," 5 Feb. 2020 But in their court filing, Madoff's lawyers included a letter from Ken Hyle, the Assistant Director of the Bureau's General Counsel's office, in which Hyle acknowledges Madoff's illness as detailed in a medical summary. Victoria Albert, CBS News, "Bernie Madoff files for compassionate release due to end-stage renal disease," 5 Feb. 2020 On the other side of the spectrum, the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City released extensive information, including timelines of the abuse reports and summaries of internal clergy files. Lexi Churchill, ProPublica, "How to Use Our Database to Report on Accused Priests in Your Area," 3 Feb. 2020 Of the nearly 100 comments perused in a 38-page summary provided to The Oregonian/OregonLive, 74 were negative. oregonlive, "TriMet turns off flashing bus lights after some deem them ‘intense,’ ‘disturbing,’ and maybe seizure-inducing," 31 Jan. 2020 The tool provides a full summary of which sites and apps Facebook has tracked you on, plus all of the information Zuckerberg and co. have gathered on you to serve ads. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "How to Kill Off Those Ultra-Personalized Facebook Ads," 29 Jan. 2020 One of the pithiest summaries of Prohibition came earlier — a scathing assessment from journalist H.L. Mencken in 1925. David Crary, Anchorage Daily News, "Prohibition began 100 years ago, and its legacy remains," 15 Jan. 2020 The plot of the first Frozen is an obvious palimpsest of script drafts with a nonsensical heel turn at the end, sufficiently ridiculous to be mocked via summary by the snowman Olaf in one of the sequel’s few genuinely funny sequences. Ross Douthat, National Review, "Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Return of the Disney Juggernauts," 9 Jan. 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.

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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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Time Traveler for summary

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for summary

Last Updated

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Summary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/summary. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

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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 summarily (audio) \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on summary

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for summary

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with summary

Spanish Central: Translation of summary

Nglish: Translation of summary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of summary for Arabic Speakers

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