Word of the DaySunday, March 23, 2003
\kuhn-SPEK-tuhs\ , noun;
A general sketch or survey of a subject.
A synopsis; an outline.
Eagerly the Austen family went at their productions, choosing plays that represented, as Gay says, a conspectus of late 18th-century fashionable comic theatre.
-- John Mullan, "Behind the scenes", The Guardian, August 31, 2002
The extent and intensity of this vast conflict amounting to undeclared civil war is such that it is difficult for any observer to form a conspectus or assess all its implications.
-- "4,000,000 People Cross the Punjab to Seek New Homes", The Guardian, September 25, 1947
Conspectus comes from the Latin, from the past participle of conspicere, "to catch sight of, to perceive," from com-, intensive prefix + specere, "to look at."
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