Definition of summary in English:

summary

noun

  • A brief statement or account of the main points of something:

    ‘a summary of Chapter Three’
    • ‘The summaries are brief, focussed and numbered for easy identification.’
    • ‘You may remember that The Register used to run reader surveys online and publish summaries.’
    • ‘His summaries of the world's problems are so well put that one feels they have been solved merely by virtue of the fact that he has described them.’
    • ‘Hence our preference for brief, readable letters supplemented with pictures and summaries of responses.’
    • ‘The result of your search will bring up a list of job summaries and links to full job descriptions.’
    • ‘Table 1 shows descriptive summaries of variables common to both trials for both groups in each trial.’
    • ‘This is a nicely delivered and nuanced talk - much more so than this cursory summary suggests.’
    • ‘Then there is the additional problem that many of us only see brief summaries of these reports in the press.’
    • ‘Clinical Evidence is a compendium of summaries of the best available evidence about what works and what doesn't work in health care.’
    • ‘Succinct summaries describe the structural features and relate other minerals to the one being viewed.’
    • ‘As stated above, this brief list and the following summaries do not pretend to be complete.’
    • ‘For those of you not familiar with the candidates and their parties, I've made quick summaries for you.’
    • ‘Even casual readers may benefit from the sectional summaries or recapitulations in the book.’
    • ‘At the time of the inquiry the families had been supplied with summaries of both witness statements and other material used in evidence.’
    • ‘I think secondhand accounts or summaries can be very useful simply because they allow us a quick grasp on a subject.’
    • ‘The system allows managers to view employees' annual holiday summaries and absence summaries at a glance.’
    • ‘Moreover, it demonstrates that they have not studied the full Audit Commission report, but rely on potted summaries.’
    • ‘Daily summaries were compiled into weekly summaries and then monthly summaries.’
    • ‘These have further information, plot summaries, reviews, pictures, and other good stuff.’
    • ‘Yahoo and Lycos have posted excellent summaries of the top searches of 2003.’
    synopsis, precis, résumé, abstract, abridgement, digest, compendium, condensation, encapsulation, abbreviated version
    outline, sketch, rundown, review, summing-up, survey, overview, run-through, notes, recapitulation, recap
    tour d'horizon
    wrap-up
    epitome, conspectus, summa
    View synonyms

adjective

  • 1Not including needless details or formalities; brief:

    ‘summary financial statements’
    • ‘The Committee may, however, decide to include a summary account of the results in its annual report.’
    • ‘As summary statements, part of their rationale is to provide a key to the linkages between different articles.’
    • ‘The two sides also prepared separate summary statements on the talks held Thursday and Friday in central Tokyo, he said.’
    • ‘I leave it to your Lordship whether you have summary assessment or detailed assessment.’
    • ‘I suppose they were expecting to find a summary statement they could just pass along.’
    • ‘I take into account the summary allegations at paragraph 16 of the skeleton argument.’
    • ‘Because of its extreme brevity, it has been used both as a summary statement of Mahyna truth, and as a liturgical and ritual text.’
    • ‘Offer a brief summary answer, links to threads, and outside material.’
    • ‘If the service provider only provides a summary bill with no call detail, pay the extra fee to get the detailed billing.’
    • ‘A further difficulty is that, in Mill's summary statement of the method, all circumstances are on a par.’
    • ‘The summary graph, on page 35, reproduced here, does indeed show Scotland at the low end of the spectrum of business tax revenues.’
    • ‘Full details of the analytical results from which the summary tables presented in this section are derived are available on request from the authors.’
    • ‘It also has summary statements for profit and loss, balance sheets and cash flow.’
    • ‘Attach supporting documentation and details behind the summary page for information.’
    • ‘In the following sections I give a summary account of them.’
    • ‘It began with a reminder of the history of our two families, in Ghana and in England, his summary account of who we were.’
    • ‘In spite of its brevity, it is the most comprehensive summary listing that I have seen in print.’
    • ‘Alluding to the evidentialist objection as often as he does, Plantinga naturally makes use of summary statements of it.’
    • ‘I'll present excerpts from our discussion in abbreviated, summary format below.’
    • ‘In addition, short summary statements can be used to denote events, personal strengths, and so on.’
    abridged, abbreviated, shortened, condensed, concise, succinct, thumbnail, compact, terse, short, compressed, cursory, compendious, synoptic
    View synonyms
  • 2Law
    (of a judicial process) conducted without the customary legal formalities:

    ‘summary arrest’
    • ‘The Soviets executed soldiers on an infinitely greater scale, either after due process or as summary military punishment.’
    • ‘Refusal to carry out an order resulted in summary execution.’
    • ‘They have the power of summary arrest and extradition, in spite of existing British laws, which specifically prohibit such action.’
    • ‘It also shows that copyright holders and their supporters will lean on the police to dispense summary punishment through judicial seizure.’
    • ‘Gun law, robbery, summary execution and internecine fighting have become the disorder of the day.’
    immediate, instant, instantaneous, on-the-spot, direct, forthwith, prompt
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    1. 2.1 (of a conviction) made by a judge or magistrate without a jury.
      • ‘It retains its character as an indictable offence and it is not a summary conviction before a Court of Petty Sessions.’
      • ‘Solicitors are also aggrieved that the six public defenders employed by the Scottish Legal Aid Board are now able to take cases in summary proceedings involving a sheriff and a jury.’
      • ‘The Crown will proceed by summary conviction, which means there will be no preliminary hearing and the trial will be by judge alone.’
      • ‘In those circumstances it would be correct for the judge to remove the issue from the jury and grant summary judgment.’
      • ‘However, he acknowledged that Judge Neilan had a legitimate complaint to question unduly lenient sentences being imposed in summary cases.’

Origin

Late Middle English (as an adjective): from Latin summarius, from summa sum total (see sum).

Pronunciation:

summary

/ˈsʌm(ə)ri/