A summary gives a short overview, or the main points, of something longer. She talked for days about the 800-page romantic novel, but her boyfriend's summary was "Girl meets boy, boy meets girl, boy rides horse into sunset, girl meets new boy. The end."

Summary is a noun, and "summery" is an adjective, but they sound alike and both describe something short. A summer feels like a short piece of a long year, and a summary is a short statement about a longer piece. When a long speech or writing needs retelling in a short amount of time, a summary conveys the meaning in fewer words. Often a book cover has a summary of what's inside, and an introduction has a summary of the main points in a chapter.

Definitions of summary

n a brief statement that presents the main points in a concise form

“he gave a summary of the conclusions”
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argument, literary argument
a summary of the subject or plot of a literary work or play or movie
a summary that enumerates the main parts of a topic
a concise but comprehensive summary of a larger work
abridgement, abridgment, capsule, condensation
a shortened version of a written work
an overall summary
CV, curriculum vitae, resume
a summary of your academic and work history
line score
a summary of the scoring in a game (usually in tabular form)
abstract, outline, precis, synopsis
a sketchy summary of the main points of an argument or theory
a general summary of a subject
a summary list; as in e.g. "a news roundup"
resume, sketch, survey
short descriptive summary (of events)
rundown, summation, summing up
a concluding summary (as in presenting a case before a law court)
a condensed written summary or abstract
a short synopsis
a brief abstract (as of an article or book)
recap, recapitulation, review
a summary at the end that repeats the substance of a longer discussion
Type of:
a message that is stated or declared; a communication (oral or written) setting forth particulars or facts etc

adj briefly giving the gist of something

“a summary formulation of a wide-ranging subject”
compact, compendious, succinct
expressing much in few words

adj performed speedily and without formality

“a summary execution”
summary justice”
not having official authority or sanction

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