get the gist

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get the gist

To understand the central, essential, or general matter of something, such as an argument, speech, concept, process, etc., without being proficient in the more specific details. A: "Did you understand what she was saying?" B: "My Japanese isn't great anymore, but I think I got the gist of it." Bob: "Are you sure you understand what's involved?" Steve: "Yeah, yeah, I get the gist."
See also: get
References in periodicals archive ?
Our translation software offers users a way to access and send material without hassle, allowing the recipient to get the gist of the original document," Kuperman explains, "The translation may not be perfect, but it gets the key points across.
And with his pinched, moderately expressive face, Darin proves perfect casting for a man who just doesn't get the gist of most relationships, but gradually and incrementally learns how.
You can get the gist of Kholos' entire score, for that matter, through the song titles: ``Melting Pot,'' ``Man of the Family,'' ``The Grass Ain't Always Greener,'' ``Another Man's Wife.