Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A comprehensive treatise, especially in philosophy or theology.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A comprehensive summary of, or treatise on a subject, especially theology or philosophy.

Etymologies

Medieval Latin, from Latin, the whole; see sum1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin summa. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • And though it is unclear whether the title summa is original (Jordan, 1986, 182-3), the work fits the summa form in its systematic arrangement of topics and its attempt to include all possible arguments for a given position and against its contrary.

    Literary Forms of Medieval Philosophy

  • Dr. Natalicio received her B.S. degree in Spanish, summa cum laude, from St. Louis University, and her master's degree in Portuguese and Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin.

    Natalicio Named To Committee On The Arts And The Humanities

  • Moore earned a bachelor's degree in English, summa cum laude, from the University of North Carolina and a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from Bowling Green State University (Ohio).

    ErieBlogs

  • Ann Echeverria, associate of applied science in nursing; Karen A. Eck, associate of applied business in accounting technology; Amanda H. Frazier, bachelor of arts in English, summa cum laude; Nicholas E. Frye, associate of applied science in mechanical engineering technology;

    The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio Home Page

  • A Cleveland native, Eisenmann holds a bachelor of arts in English, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Connecticut College in New London, Conn.; a master's degree in American literature from Georgetown University; and a second master's degree and a doctorate in the history of education from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

    News from www.thesunchronicle.com

  • It has been called a summa evangelica, so popular at that time, in which the author has condensed and resumed all that over sixty writers had said before him upon spiritual matters.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 9: Laprade-Mass Liturgy

  • For they amount in their extraordinary compactness and depth to a little "summa" of his theology.

    "Conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary"

  • Dueling papers this morning on the word "summa" as compared with "some of."

    Archive 2009-04-01

  • The seventh book of the Ormesta, as it was known, contained a description of the world and the Mappa Mundi was intended to illustrate this "summa", or compendium of knowledge.

    Archive 2008-01-01

  • Perhaps one day I will have the opportunity to develop a more rigorous 'summa', but that is not in my hands - if it is God's will, then he will 'make it so'.

    For my friends

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  • "'Immoderate' or 'lascivious' dancing was again listed as a confessable sin in an important summa, or directory of sins, promulgated in 1317."
    —Barbara Ehrenreich, Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2006), 81

    March 14, 2009