a. An amount obtained as a result of adding numbers.
b. An arithmetic problem: a child good at sums.
2. The whole amount, quantity, or number; an aggregate: the sum of the team's combined experience.
3. An amount of money: paid an enormous sum.
4. A summary: my view of the world, in sum.
5. The central idea or point; the gist.
tr.v. summed, sum·ming, sumsPhrasal Verb:
1. Mathematics To add.
2. To give a summary of; summarize.
1. To present the substance of (material) in a condensed form; summarize: sum up the day's news; concluded the lecture by summing up.
2. To describe or assess concisely: an epithet that sums up my feelings.
[Middle English summe, from Old French, from Latin summa, from feminine of summus, highest; see uper in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus