Definitions

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

  • adj. Of or constituting a synopsis; presenting a summary of the principal parts or a general view of the whole.
  • adj. Taking the same point of view.
  • adj. Relating to or being the first three gospels of the New Testament, which share content, style, and order of events and which differ largely from John.
  • adj. Meteorology Of or relating to data obtained nearly simultaneously over a large area of the atmosphere.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of, or relating to a synopsis
  • adj. In general, pertaining to or affording an overall view. In meteorology, this term has become somewhat specialized in referring to the use of meteorological data obtained simultaneously over a wide area for presenting a comprehensive and nearly instantaneous picture of the state of the atmosphere. Thus, to a meteorologist, synoptic takes the additional connotation of simultaneity.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Affording a general view of the whole, or of the principal parts of a thing.
  • n. One of the first three Gospels of the New Testament. See synoptist.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Affording a synopsis or general view of the whole or of the principal parts of a subject: as, a synoptic table; a synoptic history.
  • n. One of the synoptic gospels; also, one of the writers of the synoptic gospels; a synoptist.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. presenting or taking the same point of view; used especially with regard to the first three gospels of the New Testament
  • adj. presenting a summary or general view of a whole

Etymologies

Greek sunoptikos, from sunopsis, general view; see synopsis.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From New Latin synopticus, from Ancient Greek συνοπτικός (sunoptikos, "seeing the whole together or at a glance"), from σύνοψις (sunopsis, "a general view, synopsis"), from σύν (sun, "with") + ὄψις (opsis, "view"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • On the one hand, many AGW skeptics are told not to confuse short term synoptic weather patterns with long term climate trends; on the other hand, when short term climate trends coincide with AGW theories they immediatly make headline news see the 2005 Hurricane Season as a prime example.

    Road Map « Climate Audit

  • The first three gospels—Matthew, Mark, and Luke—are commonly referred to as the synoptic gospels.

    Fargo Rock City

  • The Gospels are subdivided into two groups, those which are commonly called synoptic (Matthew,

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 14: Simony-Tournon

  • The first three gospels — Matthew, Mark and Luke — are known as the synoptic gospels, and are the kernels of what theologians refer to as the “synoptic problem.”

    On having reached a terrible benchmark

  • The violent weather on the plains rarely stemmed from the large-scale, or what meteorologists call synoptic, events, but from these smaller-pressure highs and lows that boiled upward as burly storms on spring afternoons.

    Storm Warning

  • Of the four Gospels -- Matthew, Mark, Luke and John -- the first three -- Matthew, Mark and Luke -- are described as synoptic Gospels because they provide a synopsis of the life of Jesus.

    The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind & Heart

  • In teaching history she used what I may call the synoptic method, taking periods of fifty years, and explaining contemporaneous events in France, Italy, Germany, and England during that period.

    The Days Before Yesterday

  • A favorite part of his plan was a room which he liked to call his synoptic room.

    Louis Agassiz His Life and Correspondence

  • The number exceeded the most recent count -- called a synoptic survey -- conducted in 2007 by nearly 1,000 manatees.

    ScrippsNews - current events, culture, commentary, community

  • What he is doing, as I understand it, is just taking in a lot of information, doing briefings -- really, this kind of synoptic review that they should be doing.

    CNN Transcript Oct 8, 2009

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  • "The synoptic scale in meteorology (also known as large scale or cyclonic scale) is a horizontal length scale of the order of 1000 kilometres (about 620 miles) or more 1. This corresponds to a horizontal scale typical of mid-latitude depressions. Most high and low pressure areas seen on weather maps are synoptic-scale systems. The word synoptic is derived from the Greek word sunoptikos meaning seen together."
    - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synoptic_scale

    September 20, 2007