[suh-mey-shuh n]


the act or process of summing.
the result of this; an aggregate or total.
a review or recapitulation of previously stated facts or statements, often with a final conclusion or conclusions drawn from them.
Law. the final arguments of opposing attorneys before a case goes to the jury.
Physiology. the arousal of impulses by a rapid succession of stimuli, carried either by separate sensory neurons (spatial summation) or by the same sensory neuron (temporal summation).

Origin of summation

1750–60; < Medieval Latin summātiōn- (stem of summātiō), equivalent to summāt(us) (past participle of summāre to sum; see -ate1) + -iōn- -ion
Related formssum·ma·tion·al, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for summation

addition, aggregate, sum

Examples from the Web for summation

Contemporary Examples of summation

  • Per Kundera, tweets and blogs translate every link, adding ideology in the guise of summation.

    The Daily Beast logo
    John Mayer's Terrible Week

    Rob Tannenbaum

    February 12, 2010

  • “She is not Amanda the Ripper,” Bongiorno told the jury in her summation.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Amanda Knox's Last Chance

    Barbie Latza Nadeau

    November 30, 2009

  • "3 words... Los Angeles Lifetime," suggested Tim Smith, a New York artists' studio manager, in a summation of the season.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Five Gays on Project Runway's Demise

    Choire Sicha

    November 17, 2009

Historical Examples of summation

  • In which summation he showed himself indeed a “sumner,” as it was called of yore.


    Charles Godfrey Leland

  • Continued proportion, the series and the summation of the series.

    Electric Gas Lighting

    Norman H. Schneider

  • He also seems to agree with your summation of the Islamic problem.

    Black Man's Burden

    Dallas McCord Reynolds

  • A number of us were doing our best to apprehend the summation of all this flood of change.

    What is Coming?

    H. G. Wells

  • He is the summation of selfishness because he puts his decisions and determinations above those of any or all others.

    Idling in Italy

    Joseph Collins

British Dictionary definitions for summation



the act or process of determining a sum; addition
the result of such an act or process
a summary
US law the concluding statements made by opposing counsel in a case before a court
Derived Formssummational, adjectivesummative, adjective

Word Origin for summation

C18: from Medieval Latin summātiō, from summāre to total, from Latin summa sum 1
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

Word Origin and History for summation

1760, from Modern Latin summationem (nominative summatio) "an adding up," from Late Latin summatus, past participle of summare "to sum up," from Latin summa (see sum).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

summation in Medicine




The process by which multiple or repeated stimuli can produce a response in a nerve, muscle, or other part that one stimulus alone cannot produce.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.