nutshell

[ nuht-shel ]
/ ˈnʌtˌʃɛl /

noun

the shell of a nut.

Idioms

    in a nutshell, in very brief form; in a few words: Just tell me the story in a nutshell.

Origin of nutshell

1175–1225; Middle English nutescell; see nut, shell
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for in a nutshell

nutshell

/ (ˈnʌtˌʃɛl) /

noun

the shell around the kernel of a nut
in a nutshell in essence; briefly
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

Idioms and Phrases with in a nutshell (1 of 2)

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.

Idioms and Phrases with in a nutshell (2 of 2)

nutshell


see in a nutshell.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.