Definition of summary in US English:

summary

noun

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

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

  • 1Dispensing with needless details or formalities; brief.

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

    ‘summary arrest’
    • ‘It also shows that copyright holders and their supporters will lean on the police to dispense summary punishment through judicial seizure.’
    • ‘They have the power of summary arrest and extradition, in spite of existing British laws, which specifically prohibit such action.’
    • ‘The Soviets executed soldiers on an infinitely greater scale, either after due process or as summary military punishment.’
    • ‘Gun law, robbery, summary execution and internecine fighting have become the disorder of the day.’
    • ‘Refusal to carry out an order resulted in summary execution.’
    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.
      • ‘The Crown will proceed by summary conviction, which means there will be no preliminary hearing and the trial will be by judge alone.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It retains its character as an indictable offence and it is not a summary conviction before a Court of Petty Sessions.’
      • ‘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.’

Phrases

  • in summary

    • In short.

      ‘in summary, there is no clear case for one tax system compared to another’
      • ‘So, in summary, the food we eat has changed immensely since the days when our dinner would have consisted of meat and two veg and is certainly much more diverse than the Ulster Fry.’
      • ‘He also expressed doubt that the 1500 scientists whose data Scott had compiled and presented in summary was to be relied upon or taken into account.’
      • ‘The Times repeats, in summary, Said's false autobiography, as though it were factual.’
      • ‘They've taken that away now, just telling me in summary how many clicks per day, and not telling me what people have clicked on.’
      • ‘So in summary, the criminals who started this are making more money than you could possibly imagine - the market of naive people is a big one, so you have to admire them in that respect.’
      • ‘So, in summary, rent 6 months in advance of the peak winter season and at least 3 months in advance of the busy summer season.’
      • ‘So in summary, a work is art as long as it has a theme that embodies a message or concept, with representational elements selected to portray that theme.’
      • ‘There was a full written report to members well over an A4 sheet giving in some detail all the conservation and listed building issues, and objectors comments in summary.’
      • ‘The narrative sounds bleak in summary; there's no happy ending, and there are some grim, sudden bursts of violence.’
      • ‘So, in summary, my experience of Orlistat is heavily balanced on the benefit side of the scale and, given a sensible, disciplined approach to the whole problem of obesity, it has helped.’
      to put it briefly, to be brief, briefly, in short, in a nutshell, succinctly, concisely, to come to the point, to cut a long story short, not to mince words, not to beat about the bush, not to put too fine a point on it
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Origin

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

Pronunciation

summary

/ˈsəməri//ˈsəmərē/