No doubt because of the similarity in sound to comprehensive, the word is often taken to mean vast and all-embracing. In fact, a compendium is a succinct summary or abridgment. Size has nothing to do with it. It may be as large as The Oxford English Dictionary or as small as a memorandum. What is important is that it should provide a complete summary in a brief way. The plural can be either compendia or compendiums. The OED prefers the former, most other dictionaries the latter.

Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors. 2013.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • compendium — [ kɔ̃pɛ̃djɔm ] n. m. • 1584; lat. compendium « abréviation » ♦ Didact. Abrégé. ⇒ condensé, résumé. Fig. « La médecine étant un compendium des erreurs successives et contradictoires des médecins » (Proust). ● compendium nom masculin (latin… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • compendium — COMPÉNDIUM s.n. v. compendiu. Trimis de LauraGellner, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DEX 98  compéndium (tehn.) s. n. (sil. di um), pl. compéndiumuri Trimis de siveco, 10.08.2004. Sursa: Dicţionar ortografic  COMPÉNDIUM s.n …   Dicționar Român

  • Compendium — Com*pen di*um, n.; pl. E. {Compendiums}, L. {Compendia}. [L. compendium that which is weighed, saved, or shortened, a short way, fr. compendere to weigh; com + pendere to weigh. See {Pension}, and cf. {Compend}.] A brief compilation or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • COMPENDIUM — a Romanis, aut crte a Gallis, qui ipsi Romani dicti, conditum, vel quod erat ad Axonae et Isatae conffluentem et quasi compendium positum; vel quod per compendium, urbes et castra ripae Suminae petentibus occurrebat, sic dictum: Sub Chlodovaei M …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • compendium — compendium, syllabus, digest, pandect, survey, sketch, précis, aperçu are comparable when they mean a treatment of a subject or of a topic in brief compass. A compendium gathers in brief, orderly, and intelligible form, sometimes outlined, the… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • compendium — COMPENDIUM. s. m. (Pron. Compéndiome. ) Mot emprunté du Latin, qui signifie Abrégé. Le compendium de la Philosophie …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • compendium — 1580s, from L. compendium a shortening, saving, lit. that which is weighed together, from L. compendere to weigh together, from com together (see COM (Cf. com )) + pendere to weigh (see PENDANT (Cf. pendant)). Borrowed earlier as compen …   Etymology dictionary

  • Compendĭum [1] — Compendĭum (lat.), 1) Ersparung, Abkürzung; 2) (Cabalium liber), im Mittelalter ein Buch, in dem jedes einzelnen Bürgers Vermögen kurz u. im Allgemeinen angegeben war; 3) systematische Aufstellung der wichtigsten Begriffe u. Sätze einer… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Compendĭum [2] — Compendĭum (a. Geogr.), so v. w. Compiegne …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Compendium — Compendium, wörtlich Abkürzung oder Ersparung. Gewöhnlich eine Sammlung, worin die Lehrsätze und Hauptmarimen einer Wissenschaft kurz und bündig zusammengefaßt sind. Commentar ist das Entgegengesetzte, denn hier werden alle Principien ausführlich …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • Compendium — (lat. Ersparung), Handbuch oder Leitfaden, in welchem nur die wesentlichen Punkte einer Wissenschaft abgehandelt sind. Compendiarisch, eine so angelegte Behandlung einer Wissenschaft; compendiös, kurz gefaßt und in gedrängter, scharftreffender… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

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