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[kuh m-pen-dee-uh m] /kəmˈpɛn di əm/
noun, plural compendiums, compendia
[kuh m-pen-dee-uh] /kəmˈpɛn di ə/ (Show IPA)
a brief treatment or account of a subject, especially an extensive subject; concise treatise:
a compendium of medicine.
a summary, epitome, or abridgment.
a full list or inventory:
a compendium of their complaints.
Also, compend
[kom-pend] /ˈkɒm pɛnd/ (Show IPA)
Origin of compendium
1575-85; < Latin: gain, saving, shortcut, abridgment, equivalent to com- com- + pend- (stem of pendere to cause to hang down, weigh) + -ium -ium
1. survey, digest, conspectus. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for compendium
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The ballot is the compendium of all there is in civilization, and of all that civilization has done for us.

  • His compendium of Galen was the text-book of medicine in the West for many centuries.

  • She was worth her wages to the office merely as a compendium of shams.

    In Our Town William Allen White
  • Johnstown is a compendium of business, and misery, and despair.

    History of the Johnstown Flood Willis Fletcher Johnson
  • He began a compendium of religions, then of literature, and last of the Romance languages.

    Idling in Italy Joseph Collins
British Dictionary definitions for compendium


noun (pl) -diums, -dia (-dɪə)
(Brit) a book containing a collection of useful hints
(Brit) a selection, esp of different games or other objects in one container
a concise but comprehensive summary of a larger work
Word Origin
C16: from Latin: a saving, literally: something weighed, from pendere to weigh
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for compendium

1580s, from Latin compendium "a shortening, saving," literally "that which is weighed together," from compendere "to weigh together," from com- "together" (see com-) + pendere "to weigh" (see pendant). Borrowed earlier as compendi (mid-15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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