Definition of compendious in English:



  • Containing or presenting the essential facts of something in a comprehensive but concise way.

    ‘a compendious study’
    • ‘Our learned friends seek to restrict the word ‘obvious’ to the most narrow meaning possible - that is not the way it has been dealt with - and our friends ignore the fact that it is a compendious concept.’
    • ‘With so many decontextualized styles waiting at every exit, his compendious description of the American highway landscape compresses a hemisphereful of designs into a single journey.’
    • ‘Long before Shakespeare's death the playwrights had lost confidence in their power to offer a conspectus or compendious view.’
    • ‘Given the compendious nature of Wood's works, this is hardly surprising, of course.’
    • ‘As a bonus question - why has the story vanished from the Guardian's compendious website?’
    • ‘Apparently the compendious works on Chicago history by John Kirkland had not been consulted.’
    • ‘This book details the social lives of children and includes compendious and informative summaries of attachment theory, friendship formation, group power and function, gender issues, and child psychology.’
    • ‘Folklore and legends were retold by the bards, who used devices such as alliteration and rhyme, as well as a compendious store of stock phrases, to aid memorisation and recall, allowing them to instantly ‘compose’ a poem for any occasion.’
    • ‘It is authoritative, compendious and highly readable.’
    • ‘In An American Dilemma, a compendious study of American racism, another foreign observer, Sweden's Gunnar Myrdal, recognized the self-correcting nature of what he too called the American Creed.’
    • ‘This is a massive, compendious and copiously researched book that tells the whole of what used to be called ‘our island story’.’
    • ‘Peter Sheppard Skærved, who writes the compendious notes, wonders if Beethoven himself might have written the adagio variation.’
    • ‘Failure to listen ranks high in the compendious catalogue of couple complaints.’
    • ‘His compendious book, then, ranges from dry speculation on geology to exquisite description of flora, spangled with remarkably apt epigrams.’
    • ‘Her writing is elegant, the record compendious.’
    • ‘Housing land supply was exhaustively examined by the local plan inquiry Inspector, who had compendious, borough-wide evidence before him, including information on all potential housing sites.’
    • ‘His book is compendious in its scope, taking in three decades of street life in Los Angeles, a century of the city's police force, and a dramatis personae that runs to five and a half pages.’
    • ‘Yet, on occasion, one cannot help but admire his eager intelligence and compendious grasp of the field.’
    • ‘Now, another problem with that paragraph is that it seeks to deal in a compendious manner with disparate kinds of corroborative evidence.’
    • ‘The second limb is concerned with what, for want of a better compendious description, can be called the liability of an accessory to a trustee's breach of trust.’
    succinct, pithy, short and to the point, short and sweet, potted, thumbnail, brief, crisp, compact, concise, condensed, shortened, contracted, compressed, abridged, abbreviated, summarized, summary, abstracted
    in a nutshell, in a few well-chosen words
    lapidary, epigrammatic, synoptic, aphoristic, gnomic
    View synonyms


Late Middle English: from Old French compendieux, from Latin compendiosus advantageous, brief, from compendium profit, saving, abbreviation.