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[prey-see, prey-see] /preɪˈsi, ˈpreɪ si/
noun, plural précis
[prey-seez, prey-seez] /preɪˈsiz, ˈpreɪ siz/ (Show IPA)
a concise summary.
verb (used with object)
to make a précis of.
Origin of précis
1750-60; < French, noun use of adj., literally, cut short. See precise
Can be confused
précis, precise.
1. digest, condensation, abstract. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for précis
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • None of the great French preachers admit of logical abstraction and précis so well as he.

  • I struggled and struggled with pencil and précis, but I did not improve.

    More Pages from a Journal Mark Rutherford
  • When the secretary had finished his précis he read it aloud to Roma and his superior.

    The Eternal City Hall Caine
  • The first is a précis of the question, as the author understands it.

    The Life or Legend of Gaudama Right Reverend Paul Ambroise Bigandet
  • Apparently he had given her a précis of his life's history amazingly on the lines of a concentrated military despatch.

    The Mountebank William J. Locke
  • Also précis d'anatomie transcendante, principes d'organogénie, Paris, 1842.

    Form and Function E. S. (Edward Stuart) Russell
  • J'espère voir Monsieur le Contre-Amiral à dîner, à cinq heures, précis.

    The Two Admirals J. Fenimore Cooper
British Dictionary definitions for précis


noun (pl) precis, précis (ˈpreɪsiːz)
a summary of the essentials of a text; abstract
(transitive) to make a precis of
Word Origin
C18: from French: precise
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 précis



1760, from French noun use of Middle French précis "cut short, condensed" (see precise). As a verb, from 1856.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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