- the shell of a nut.
- in a nutshell, in very brief form; in a few words: Just tell me the story in a nutshell.
Origin of nutshell
- the shell around the kernel of a nut
- in a nutshell in essence; briefly
Word Origin and History for in a nutshell
Idioms and Phrases with in a nutshell
in a nutshell
Concisely, in a few words, as in Here's our proposal—in a nutshell, we want to sell the business to you. This hyperbolic expression alludes to the Roman writer Pliny's description of Homer's Iliad being copied in so tiny a hand that it could fit in a nutshell. For a time it referred to anything compressed, but from the 1500s on it referred mainly to written or spoken words.
see in a nutshell.