- the aggregate of two or more numbers, magnitudes, quantities, or particulars as determined by or as if by the mathematical process of addition: The sum of 6 and 8 is 14.
- a particular aggregate or total, especially with reference to money: The expenses came to an enormous sum.
- an indefinite amount or quantity, especially of money: to lend small sums.
- a series of numbers or quantities to be added up.
- an arithmetical problem to be solved, or such a problem worked out and having the various steps shown.
- the full amount, or the whole.
- the substance or gist of a matter, comprehensively or broadly viewed or expressed: the sum of his opinions.
- concise or brief form: in sum.
- the limit of the sequence of partial sums of a given infinite series.
- union(def 10a).
- a summary.
- to combine into an aggregate or total (often followed by up).
- to ascertain the sum of, as by addition.
- to bring into or contain in a small compass (often followed by up).
- to amount (usually followed by to or into): Their expenses summed into the thousands.
- sum up,
- to reckon: We summed up our assets and liabilities.
- to bring into or contain in a brief and comprehensive statement; summarize: to sum up the case for the prosecution.
- to form a quick estimate of: I summed him up in a minute.
Origin of sum
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- surface-to-underwater missile.
- variant of sub- before m: summon.
cogito, ergo sum
- I think, therefore I am (stated by Descartes as the first principle in resolving universal doubt).
Examples from the Web for sum
On the other hand, they are viewing their donors, and their future children, not as whole people but as the sum of certain parts.Have Sperm, Will Travel: The ‘Natural Inseminators’ Helping Women Avoid the Sperm Bank
November 29, 2014
But when it comes to the value of antiquities for human history, the sum of the parts is not greater than the whole.Dismembering History: The Shady Online Trade in Ancient Texts
November 23, 2014
In sum, SARS spread to many more countries than Ebola has so far.Fact-Checking the Sunday Shows: October 19
October 19, 2014
Two years later, in 1959, the Germans proposed a settlement of less than half the sum Paul had claimed.My Grandfather's War: Recovering the Art the Nazis Stole
October 5, 2014
As the economy soured, Californians began to think in terms of limited resources and came to see migration as a zero sum game.Careful What You Wish For: Here’s What California Would Look Like Without Illegal Immigrants
Ruben Navarrette Jr.
September 18, 2014
When you solve a sum you go from "a" to "b" and from "b" to "c" and from "c" to "d" and so on.Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
He gives his ambassador a sum on which a private gentleman can live, and no more.
In Vienna, L. 11,000 a-year is equal to twice the sum in England.
I know that you have double the sum we want in ready money—so I make no ceremony.Tales And Novels, Volume 3 (of 10)
But you, sir—will any sum—that is, any reasonable sum—be of use to you?Night and Morning, Complete
- the result of the addition of numbers, quantities, objects, etc
- the cardinality of the union of disjoint sets whose cardinalities are the given numbers
- one or more columns or rows of numbers to be added, subtracted, multiplied, or divided
- maths the limit of a series of sums of the first n terms of a converging infinite series as n tends to infinity
- (plural) another name for number work
- a quantity, esp of moneyhe borrows enormous sums
- the essence or gist of a matter (esp in the phrases in sum, in sum and substance)
- a less common word for summary
- archaic the summit or maximum
- (modifier) complete or final (esp in the phrase sum total)
- (often foll by up) to add or form a total of (something)
- (tr) to calculate the sum of (the terms in a sequence)
- the standard monetary unit of Uzbekistan, divided into 100 tiyin
cogito, ergo sum
- I think, therefore I am; the basis of Descartes' philosophy
Word Origin and History for sum
late 13c., "quantity or amount of money," from Anglo-French and Old French summe (13c.), from Latin summa "total number, whole, essence, gist," noun use of fem. of summus "highest," from PIE *sup-mos-, from root *uper "over" (see super-).
The sense development from "highest" to "total number" is probably via the Roman custom of adding up a stack of figures from the bottom and writing the sum at the top, rather than at the bottom as we do now (cf. the bottom line). Meaning "total number of anything" is recorded from late 14c. Meaning "essence of a writing or speech" also is attested from late 14c. The verb is attested from c.1300; meaning "briefly state the substance of" (now usually with up) is first recorded 1620s. Sum-total is attested from late 14c., from Medieval Latin summa totalis.
- The result of adding numbers or quantities. The sum of 6 and 9, for example, is 15, and the sum of 4x and 5x is 9x.