Meaning of “sum” in the English Dictionary

"sum" in British English

See all translations


uk /sʌm/ us /sʌm/

sum noun (AMOUNT OF MONEY)

B1 [ C ] an amount of money:

Huge sums of money are spent on national defence.
He sold the house for a tidy (= large) sum.
humorous I worked for three whole weeks for which I received the princely (= very low) sum of $100.

More examples

sum noun (TOTAL)

[ S ] the whole number or amount when two or more numbers or amounts have been added together:

The sum of 13 and 8 is 21.
in sum formal

considered as a whole:

The meeting was, in sum, a disaster.
the sum of sth

all of something, especially when this is not very much:

And that's the sum of my knowledge on the subject!

(Definition of “sum” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"sum" in American English

See all translations


us /sʌm/

sum noun (AMOUNT OF MONEY)

[ C ] a particular amount of money:

The sum involved in the sale was not reported.

sum noun (TOTAL)

mathematics [ U ] a total found by the addition of two or more numbers:

The sum of seven and twelve is nineteen.
in sum

In sum is said before giving a final, brief statement describing something:

In sum, the American public did not perceive global warming as urgent.

(Definition of “sum” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"sum" in Business English

See all translations


uk /sʌm/ us

[ C ] MONEY, FINANCE an amount of money:

Share price slid by 1p to 142p fuelled by concerns that the company might offer too generous a sum for the proposed venture in India.
The sale of Germany's biggest commercial TV operator for an undisclosed sum follows a bidding contest.
Banks may not be prepared to open an account if the sum involved is too small.
large/huge/enormous sums Restrictions have been imposed by the government on the movement of large sums of money out of the country.
a small/modest/substantial sum A substantial sum has been set aside for litigation relating to the construction project.
an additional/cash/final sum The final sum an investor receives from a pension is dependent on the rate of investment growth.
vast/huge/considerable sums
a sum of $8/£2,000/€1.2m, etc. Legislation approved yesterday will raise a much-needed sum of £300,000 for use on the roads.
pay (out)/spend/invest a sum Deposits are non-recoverable cash sums paid just to reserve a property, with a further sum payable when contracts are exchanged.
earn/receive/owe a sum Victims of an explosion at a chemical works are set to receive large sums in compensation.
borrow/lend a sum First-time buyers are having to borrow huge sums to buy a home.

[ S ] also sum total the number or amount that is the result of adding together two or more numbers or amounts:

sum of sth In 2006, the sum of all income for residents of Colorado rose by 6.5%.

[ C ] UK a calculation that involves adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing numbers:

You need to do your sums before deciding whether you would benefit more from a fixed-rate or a tracker mortgage.
Amid the pressure to get their sums right, many funds have closed to new business.

[ S ] also sum total the whole of something after all the different features or parts of it are considered:

the sum of sth We believe that the sum of our business principles maximizes our chances of success.
more/greater than the sum of its parts

more powerful, effective, etc. as a whole than you would think if you considered the different features or parts that it consists of:

The claimed logic of this latest merger is that the whole will be more than the sum of the parts.
in sum

used at the end of a report or discussion before giving a short description of the main ideas or facts:

We're looking, in sum, for a major player who believes in newspapers as a serious business.
a princely/tidy sum

a large amount of money:

She sold her story to the tabloids for a princely sum.
We have made a tidy sum on our investments.
the princely sum of sth

used in a humorous way to refer to an unexpectedly small amount of money:

The book was first published in the UK in 1972 for the princely sum of 40p.

(Definition of “sum” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)