A precis is a summary of something's main points. If you've ever jotted down notes about your main ideas before writing a persuasive essay, you've used a precis.

Precis looks like precise, and of course, you always want your precis to be precise. But the words are pronounced differently. Precis comes from the French word pr├ęcis, so say it like this: "PRAY see." Or you can accent the other syllable: "pray SEE." The s is only pronounced if the word is plural: "PRAY sees." The spelling stays the same.

Definitions of precis

n a sketchy summary of the main points of an argument or theory

abstract, outline, synopsis
a condensed written summary or abstract
a short synopsis
a brief abstract (as of an article or book)
Type of:
sum-up, summary
a brief statement that presents the main points in a concise form

v make a summary (of)

Type of:
resume, sum up, summarise, summarize
give a summary (of)

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a life-long learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.