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Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective summary contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of summary are compendious, concise, laconic, pithy, succinct, and terse. While all these words mean "very brief in statement or expression," summary suggests the statement of main points with no elaboration or explanation.

a summary listing of the year's main events

When would compendious be a good substitute for summary?

The words compendious and summary are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, compendious applies to what is at once full in scope and brief and concise in treatment.

a compendious dictionary

When is concise a more appropriate choice than summary?

In some situations, the words concise and summary are roughly equivalent. However, concise suggests the removal of all that is superfluous or elaborative.

a concise description

When is it sensible to use laconic instead of summary?

While in some cases nearly identical to summary, laconic implies brevity to the point of seeming rude, indifferent, or mysterious.

an aloof and laconic stranger

How does the word pithy relate to other synonyms for summary?

Pithy adds to succinct or terse the implication of richness of meaning or substance.

a comedy sharpened by pithy one-liners

When might succinct be a better fit than summary?

The meanings of succinct and summary largely overlap; however, succinct implies the greatest possible compression.

a succinct letter of resignation

When can terse be used instead of summary?

The words terse and summary can be used in similar contexts, but terse implies pointed conciseness.

a terse reply

Thesaurus Entries Near summary

Cite this Entry

“Summary.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on summary

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