syn·​op·​sis | \ sə-ˈnäp-səs How to pronounce synopsis (audio) \
plural synopses\ sə-​ˈnäp-​ˌsēz How to pronounce synopses (audio) \

Definition of synopsis

1 : a condensed statement or outline (as of a narrative or treatise) : abstract
2 : the abbreviated conjugation of a verb in one person only

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Examples of synopsis in a Sentence

I don't need to know every little plot twist; just give me a synopsis of the movie.
Recent Examples on the Web Burpee also is adding introductory information for every plant category in the catalogs — a brief synopsis of nutritional value and growing tips intended primarily for novice gardeners. Washington Post, "Opt for fundamentals, not flash, when shopping for plants," 10 Dec. 2019 Yet this very synopsis risks evoking exactly the sentimentality, the artificially sweetened amiability, and the facility that Vogel himself had suspected Rogers of propagating with his show and his public persona. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "The Wondrous Heroism of Mr. Rogers in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”," 21 Nov. 2019 Starting with the Jaguars and Panthers, here is a synopsis of the NFL teams who have turned to their backup. Adam Kilgore, The Denver Post, "The Year of the Backup QB has created some unexpected, major decisions for NFL teams," 19 Oct. 2019 According to a studio synopsis, the thriller centers on Marla Grayson (Pike), a professional legal guardian who uses her knowledge of the law in order to live a luxurious lifestyle at the expense of her elderly clients. Kevin Slane,, "All the Hollywood movies and TV shows filming in Massachusetts in 2019," 22 July 2019 Watching The Goldfinch is like having the plot of a novel read to you—not the novel itself, but merely its long and winding synopsis, a bite-sized summary that still manages to feel endless. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Goldfinch Is Star-Studded, Pretty, and Lifeless," 12 Sep. 2019 The 18-episode series has been repurposed several times for radio, including an hourlong synopsis that was shared with National Public Radio affiliates and a 10-part series of 17-minute episodes currently airing on the BBC World Service. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "Tried six times for murder, Mississippi man may owe his shot at freedom to a St. Paul podcast," 2 Sep. 2019 Learn how to write a treatment, synopsis and proposal, target interested funders, make a budget and prepare a shooting schedule. Darcel Rockett,, "8 Chicago-area classes for adults to take when the kids go back to school, from cooking to filmmaking," 21 Aug. 2019 The plot is easy is to follow, and just in case there’s an extensive two-page synopsis in the program. Christopher Arnott,, "A funny, slapstick ‘Merry Wives of Windsor’ from Capital Classics," 15 July 2019

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

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for synopsis

Late Latin, from Greek, literally, comprehensive view, from synopsesthai to be going to see together, from syn- + opsesthai to be going to see — more at optic

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Time Traveler for synopsis

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The first known use of synopsis was in 1603

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Last Updated

10 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Synopsis.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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How to pronounce synopsis (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of synopsis

formal : a short description of the most important information about something : a summary or outline

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Comments on synopsis

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


to insert between existing elements

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