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

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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.
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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 Taylor said Carney asked if there was a summary for each death investigation. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, "Inside the investigation into Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish," 24 Jan. 2021 According to the interview summary, Detweiler then told investigators that Hill walked toward her with a cellphone in his hand. Victoria Albert, CBS News, "Officer who witnessed fatal shooting of Andre Hill says she did not see him pose a threat," 30 Dec. 2020 Brewer was wearing a backpack with a baseball bat sticking out of it when police found him, according to the police summary of events. oregonlive, "Spree of Portland bat attacks ends in arrest," 26 Dec. 2020 Shift schedules planned for new model launches at two plants in Detroit would be changed, based on negotiations, the summary said, to a traditional three-shift, eight-hour operation. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "FCA's controversial plan for 7 days on, 7 days off work schedule gets yanked," 26 Dec. 2020 Officials said the summary is envisioned for public release, possibly in a scientific journal. David Willman, Anchorage Daily News, "The CDC’s failed race to roll out a virus test," 26 Dec. 2020 The fundraiser was set up to increase the Crime Stoppers reward to assist with the investigation into Marsh’s death, the summary said. Henri Hollis, ajc, "UPDATE: Reward jumps to $50K in South Fulton murder case from 2019," 16 Dec. 2020 Here's a summary of the workweek in the Twin Cities. Star Tribune, "Bitter Cold Continues Through Next Weekend," 7 Feb. 2021 This summary is a little vague in order to not spoil the fun. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "The Fast Forward 2020 Winter Bookies reading list," 4 Jan. 2021

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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Cite this Entry

“Summary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/summary. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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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 summary (audio) \ adverb

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Comments on summary

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