sum and substance

noun
main idea, gist, or point: the sum and substance of an argument.

Origin:
1585–95

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

sum and substance

The essence or gist of something, as in The sum and substance of their platform is financial conservatism. This redundant expressionboth sum and substance here mean "essence"has probably survived owing to alliteration. Shakespeare used it in The Two Gentlemen of Verona (4:1): "My riches are these poor habiliments [clothes], Of which if you should here disfurnish me, You take the sum and substance that I have."

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
If this is the sum and substance of plaintiff's case, he cannot prevail.
The sum and substance of my brief comments come down to this: do your homework
  in advance of launching change.
As this is the sum and substance of his retaliation evidence, it is
  insufficient to forestall summary judgment.
While being limited to the sum and substance of each party's final proposal,.
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