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

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Other Words from summation

summational \ (ˌ)sə-​ˈmā-​shnəl How to pronounce summation (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.
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Recent Examples on the Web In summation, this centerpiece was made in Japan by an unknown company sometime in the mid to late 1950s and was imported into this country by Arnart Creations, which was probably responsible for the Art Nouveau style design. Helaine Fendelman And Joe Rosson, Star Tribune, "Centerpiece is in Art Nouveau style, but not of that era," 26 Jan. 2021 That’s a quick summation of why the last 25 years have been so unfulfilling for the organization and its fans. David Moore, Dallas News, "25 years after the Cowboys’ last NFC Championship Game appearance, it’s official: Dallas is a postseason afterthought," 23 Jan. 2021 Assange listened silently to the judge's summation, wearing a blue suit and gray face mask. NBC News, "WikiLeaks' Julian Assange cannot be extradited to the U.S. to face espionage charges, U.K. court rules," 4 Jan. 2021 Racial tensions, political divides, conspiracy theories, media disinformation and toilet paper shortages are among the other subjects revisited in this irreverent summation of the year from hell. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Spend your New Year’s Eve wishing ‘Death to 2020.’ You won’t regret it," 31 Dec. 2020 That summation is only further confirmed by the greatness of Mays and Irvin, Minoso, Doby and Roy Campanella, when they were granted the chance to play in the other league. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "How baseball historians are coming together to add Negro Leagues stats to MLB history," 18 Dec. 2020 Complaining that Democrats were undermining confidence in the election, and then immediately pivoting to a purely speculative claim of election fraud, is a perfect summation of his Trump-era tenure. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Bill Barr Will Go Down in History as Trump’s Worst Enabler," 15 Dec. 2020 The summation of a person’s life is often dominated by awards, plaques on the wall, trophies in the case and placement of the obituary in the local newspaper. Bill Dwyre, Los Angeles Times, "Appreciation: Rafer Johnson was a humble champion who put others in the spotlight," 5 Dec. 2020 That is not quite the same as a show that comes on at bedtime and includes a kind of comic summation of that day's events. Bill Carter For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Conan O'Brien's move to streaming seemed inevitable. But late-night TV is far from dead," 19 Nov. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of summation

1760, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for summation

Time Traveler

The first known use of summation was in 1760

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Statistics for summation

Last Updated

8 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Summation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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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

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