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."
Popularity Over Time
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.