Definition of summa in English:


Pronunciation /ˈsʊmə//ˈsʌmə/


  • A summary of a subject.

    ‘the Wake is a summa of Joyce's microtextual practice’
    • ‘Work as distraction - that is the summa of Voltaire's wisdom.’
    • ‘In this light, the final series of kilims stands as a summa, dense and comprehensive in its references but, perhaps unavoidably, less agile, less beguiling than the individual works whose many themes it subsumes.’
    • ‘This ‘work of my life,’ whose preface had to be concluded only ten years later at Potsdam, was, to a certain degree, the summa he had proposed himself to write, the conclusion of his activities and his knowledge.’
    • ‘His last major paper - ‘Classicism’, published or delivered in 1960, not long before his death - was his summa or summing up of a lifetime of reflection and argument.’
    • ‘Even the inquisitorial bishops and curia officials granted that he had written a virtual summa.’
    synopsis, precis, résumé, abstract, abridgement, digest, compendium, condensation, encapsulation, abbreviated version
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Early 18th century: from Latin, literally ‘sum total’ (a sense reflected in Middle English).