Definitions

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

  • n. A short, complete summary; an abstract.
  • n. A list or collection of various items.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A short, complete summary; an abstract.
  • n. A list or collection of various items.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A brief compilation or composition, containing the principal heads, or general principles, of a larger work or system; an abridgment; an epitome; a compend; a condensed summary.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A brief compilation or composition containing the principal heads of a larger work or system, or the general principles or leading points of a subject; an abridgment; a summary; an epitome. Also compend.
  • n. Synonyms Epitome, Abstract, etc. See abridgment.

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

  • n. a publication containing a variety of works
  • n. a concise but comprehensive summary of a larger work

Etymologies

Latin, a shortening, from compendere, to weigh together : com-, com- + pendere, to weigh; see (s)pen- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the Latin compendium ("that which is weighed together”; “a sparing”, “a saving”, “an abbreviation"), from com- ("with") + pendō ("I weigh"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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