Definition of précis in English:



  • A summary or abstract of a text or speech.

    • ‘Zachary Lockman's book is an accessible precis of that story.’
    • ‘Here is a precis of a discussion I had with a male patient yesterday.’
    • ‘The Boston Globe, however, has a precis for those who can't wait.’
    • ‘You can read a brief precis of what he found by clicking here.’
    • ‘The quick precis of his argument is that for roughly $150 billion in aid a year, it would be possible to end extreme poverty across the globe.’
    • ‘This is what your one-line precis should be - an answer to the question ‘what happened?’’
    • ‘It would be easier if we stuck to headlines only, rather than including the short precis?’
    • ‘In the precis outlined above we can observe how Brueggemann organizes the themes of the First Testament, and each briefly mentioned item is a significant section in his discussion.’
    • ‘The precis accompanying the weekly summaries of incidents also make it possible to explore in more detail the deaths of individual policemen.’
    • ‘For those not inclined to wade through it, a precis.’
    • ‘Obviously I haven't yet read Sunstein's book, but I have read his recent essay in the Chronicle of Higher Education which appears to be a precis of it.’
    • ‘It would surely be cheaper and more effective to release a precis as a press release for the media to report on in the usual way.’
    • ‘The hero's journey, however, need not be anywhere as simplistic as in the brief precis above.’
    • ‘After providing a decent precis of the most famous passage from Mill's On Liberty, he totally misinterpreted what it means.’
    • ‘When Mr Lane stopped going to home matches, fellow former club director, Dr John Nicholas would take round a programme to his home, complete with a precis of the game.’
    • ‘If you think I exaggerate for comic effect, think again: that is a reasonable precis of what they say about us.’
    summary, synopsis, résumé, abstract, outline, summarization, summation
    abridgement, digest, condensation, abbreviation, survey, overview, rundown, run-through, sketch
    tour d'horizon
    headnote, brief
    conspectus, summa, epitome, compendium
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  • Make a précis of (a text or speech)

    • ‘Could somebody precis the conclusion for me please?’
    • ‘To precis the plot is even more distorting than usual since Churchill works in non-linear fashion.’
    • ‘Well, of course it wasn't at all about that but it's not entirely easy to precis.’
    • ‘Tricky to precis, although you might go with ‘Profits!’’
    • ‘From the occasional glimpses afforded of him, however, a precised picture of his rise back up the commercial ranks has emerged.’
    • ‘She wrote one of the best and most intelligent dissections of the case, and to precis her, she pointed out that Martin and the man had a lot in common.’
    • ‘I'm suggesting that we get them to precis and review The Simpsons.’
    • ‘In order to do that successfully he will have to develop smart new ways of searching to find what he wants quickly and easily, and be able to access it instantaneously and precis it intelligently to give him exactly what he needs.’
    • ‘What a shame I couldn't summon up a pithy soundbite to precis that.’
    • ‘The reason, to precis him brutally, is because it's free.’
    • ‘Having been through this I can precis exactly how the court case goes, that's assuming the credit card company even bother turning up, in many cases they don't because they know what's coming.’
    summarize, sum up, give a precis of, give a summary of, give a synopsis of, give the main points of
    abridge, condense, shorten, synopsize, abstract, outline, compress, abbreviate
    View synonyms


Mid 18th century: from French précis, literally precise (adjective used as a noun).