Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: precis


Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from French précis (summary)[1], from a substantive use of its adjectival sense "precise". Doublet of precise.



précis (plural précis)

  1. A summary or brief: a concise or abridged statement or view.




précis (third-person singular simple present précises, present participle précising, simple past and past participle précised)

  1. to write a précis of a work; to summarise, abridge
    • 1983, Philip Priestley, James McGuire, Learning to Help: Basic Skills Excercises[1], →ISBN, Counseling, page 71:
      If the inital [sic] passage consists of a series of paragraphs, each with a one-sentence summary, the individual's success in managing to précis the essential content of the message can then be assessed
    • 1996, Richard Palmer, “Creative Doodling: Note-taking for fun and profit”, in Brain train: studying for success[2], Second edition edition, Taylor & Francis, →ISBN, page 124:
      Nevertheless, to be required to précis say 5000 words on a single sheet of A4 has the advantage of simplicity, even if it isn’t easy.
    • 2002, Colin Jones, The Great Nation, Penguin, published 2003, page 28:
      Télémaque would not only be read widely in schools throughout the century, it would also be cited approvingly in the Encyclopédie, cherished by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, précised by Louis XVI, and its author saluted by Robespierre as ‘tutor to the human race’.
    • 2005, Mike Cardwell, Cara Flanagan, Psychology AS: The Complete Companion[3], Nelson Thornes, →ISBN, Module 2: Developmental psychology: Attachments in development, page 73:
      We think it is vital to learn how to précis, and to improve this skill with regular practice.
    • 2007, Disability Rights Commission, Code of practice post-16: code of practice (revised) for providers of post-16 education and related services[4], Large print version edition, The Stationery Office, →ISBN, page 101:
      She also asks if she can leave out the questions asking her to write a business letter and to précis because she feels that these questions would substantially disadvantage her because of her dyslexia. The education provider would not have to make this adjustment because these questions are there to determine her competence at writing and précising, so are part of the competence standard being tested.


  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “precis”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.




From Latin praecīsus (cut off), perfect passive participle of praecīdō (shorten), from prae (before) + caedō (cut), from Proto-Indo-European *kaə-id- (to strike).


  • IPA(key): /pʁ
  • (file)


précis (feminine précise, masculine plural précis, feminine plural précises)

  1. Which does not leave doubt; specific, explicit
  2. Done in a precise and reliable fashion
  3. (Sound) Well perceived; sharp
  4. (Of language or writing) Demonstrating precision, concision and accuracy
  5. Said of someone whose language expresses such qualities
  6. (Measure) calculated or measured with precision


précis m (plural précis)

  1. précis

Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]