Definition of sum noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//sʌm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//sʌm//
    Mathematical terminology
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  1. 1  [countable] sum (of something) an amount of money You will be fined the sum of £200. a large sum of money a six-figure sum Huge sums have been invested in this project. see also lump sum
  2. 2  [countable, usually singular] sum (of something) the number you get when you add two or more numbers together The sum of 7 and 12 is 19. See related entries: Mathematical terminology
  3. 3(also sum total) [singular] the sum of something all of something, especially when you think that it is not very much This is the sum of my achievements so far.
  4. 4[countable] a simple problem that involves calculating numbers to do a sum in your head I was good at sums at school. If I've got my sums right, I should be able to afford the rent.
  5. Word OriginMiddle English: via Old French from Latin summa ‘main part, sum total’, feminine of summus ‘highest’.Extra examples £200 was an astronomical sum of money in 1547. Calculate the sum of the following figures. For his first book he received the princely sum of $400. He joined the club two years ago for a record sum. How can we repay such a large sum? I did a quick sum to work out how much it would cost. It seemed an absurdly high sum to pay for a coat. My wife would receive a guaranteed lump sum in the event of my death. Some of the paintings should fetch a tidy sum at today’s auction. The charity pays a nominal sum to lease the premises. The company got its sums wrong when estimating how many customers it would attract. The gangsters offered him a sum equivalent to a whole year’s earnings. The judge awarded them an undisclosed six-figure sum in damages. The landlord has the right to recover any sums payable under this lease The sum of two and five is seven. The team has raised substantial sums for local charities. The team is greater than the sum of its parts. We eventually agreed a sum and I gave him a cheque. You will have to go to court to recover these sums. a project that cost vast sums of public money He is now earning a six-figure sum. She inherited a large sum of money when her father died. She was given a lump sum.Idioms
    be greater/more than the sum of its parts
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    to be better or more effective as a group than you would think just by looking at the individual members of the group
    (formal) used to introduce a short statement of the main points of a discussion, speech, etc. In sum, we have no chance of winning the case.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: sum