sum·​ma·​tion | \ (ˌ)sə-ˈmā-shən How to pronounce summation (audio) \

Definition of summation

1 : the act or process of forming a sum : addition
2 : sum, total
3 : cumulative action or effect especially : the process by which a sequence of stimuli that are individually inadequate to produce a response are cumulatively able to induce a nerve impulse
4 : a final part of an argument reviewing points made and expressing conclusions

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from summation

summational \ (ˌ)sə-​ˈmā-​shnəl How to pronounce summational (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of summation in a Sentence

A summation can be found at the end of the report. We gave a summation of our discovery. The defense attorneys and prosecutors are set to make their final summations today.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

In summation, the book falsely asserts the massacre was orchestrated by the government as a way to promote gun violence prevention measures. Chris Harris,, "Dad of Boy Killed in Sandy Hook Shooting Wins Defamation Suit Against Hoaxers," 19 June 2019 That might chase away conservative viewers, who could react poorly to that summation of what’s going on, no matter how accurate. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Domestic terrorism is on the rise. Why won’t cable news networks say so?," 29 Oct. 2018 His attorneys, in their own summations, told the jury that the government had failed to present enough evidence to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Aruna Viswanatha, WSJ, "Manafort Jury Ends First Day of Deliberations," 16 Aug. 2018 Dean is a master of the art of summation, briskly anchoring readers who may be unfamiliar with these writers before moving on to make connections between them. Meg Waite Clayton, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion,’ by Michelle Dean," 23 May 2018 The game was a summation of Mathias’ four years at Purdue. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: Purdue's seniors changed everything and still didn't get a nickname," 25 Feb. 2018 Together the messages are the perfect summation of all that the Knotty Pine is. Devra First,, "Why the club sandwich may just be the perfect American food," 11 June 2018 Yet there Miranda was, staring at the camera and giving a completely honest summation of her greatest romantic worry., "Sex And The City Might Be Dated, But It’ll Never Get Old," 6 June 2018 On a wall of her room back in Grants Pass, Deshae has slapped up a slew of Post-It notes, and written on a red one next to a cup of pens—amidst the Bible verses and reminders to herself—is a simple summation of her life so far. Jeremy Fuchs,, "Life After Escaping the World of Human Trafficking," 10 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'summation.' 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 summation

1760, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about summation

Statistics for summation

Last Updated

4 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for summation

The first known use of summation was in 1760

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for summation



English Language Learners Definition of summation

formal : a brief description of the most important information about something
US, law : a final speech made by a lawyer in a court of law to give a summary of the main arguments in a case


sum·​ma·​tion | \ (ˌ)sə-ˈmā-shən How to pronounce summation (audio) \

Medical Definition of summation

: cumulative action or effect especially : the process by which a sequence of stimuli that are individually inadequate to produce a response are cumulatively able to induce a nerve impulse — see spatial summation, temporal summation


sum·​ma·​tion | \ sə-ˈmā-shən How to pronounce summation (audio) \

Legal Definition of summation

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on summation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with summation

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for summation

Spanish Central: Translation of summation Encyclopedia article about summation

Comments on summation

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


characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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