To summarize something, only include the important stuff. If your teacher asks you to summarize several events from the Civil War, she wants the important facts, not every single detail you can find.

When you summarize something, you write or tell the general idea and only the most important points. It's a skill we often use in school or at work, but even in our personal lives, we summarize: like when a friend asks what the book you're reading is about, or someone wants to know about your recent vacation. You don't tell them every single detail, talking yourself to exhaustion. Instead, you summarize — describing just the key events that "sum up" the experience.

Definitions of summarize

v give a summary (of)

“I will now summarize
resume, sum up, summarise
sum, sum up, summarise
be a summary of
show 5 types...
hide 5 types...
give an abstract (of)
make a summary (of)
make a summary or abstract of a legal document and inscribe it in a list
recap, recapitulate
summarize briefly
hash over, rehash, retrograde
go back over
Type of:
ingeminate, iterate, reiterate, repeat, restate, retell
to say, state, or perform again

v be a summary of

“The abstract summarizes the main ideas in the paper”
sum, sum up, summarise
resume, sum up, summarise
give a summary (of)
Type of:
say, state, tell
express in words

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