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illustration Précis



Part of speech: noun

Origin: French, mid-18th century


A summary or abstract of a text or speech.


An outline of main points or facts.

Examples of Précis in a sentence

"I read the précis of the required textbook and decided that I didn’t want to take the course."

"Before you put pen to paper, it’s helpful to make a précis to guide your writing."

About Précis

Précis is exactly what it looks like — it’s taken from the French word “précis,” which means precise. English has adopted this French adjective and turned it into a noun. A précis is a summary of the main points in a speech or piece of writing. It could be a formal part of a paper, or you could be giving a précis of the TV show you watched last night. Just be precise about your summary.

Did you Know?

Some words are borrowed from French and we Anglify them — energy, facade, heritage, and hotel have all dropped an accent mark and adjusted pronunciation. But then we pretend to be a little French with some words. Précis has held onto its precise accent mark and French pronunciation: pray-SEE.

illustration Précis

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