nutshell

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put something in a nutshell

Fig. to state something very concisely. (Alludes to the small size of a nutshell and the amount that it would hold.) The explanation is long and involved, but let me put it in a nutshell for you. To put it in a nutshell: you are fired!
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in a nutshell

very briefly The answer, in a nutshell, is no.
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in a nutshell

something that you say when you are describing something using as few words as possible Karen wants them to get married and buy a house and Mike wants them to carry on as they are and that, in a nutshell, is the problem. Well, to put it in a nutshell, we're going to have to start again.
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in a nutshell

Concisely, in a few words, as in Here's our proposal-in a nutshell, we want to sell the business to you. This hyperbolic expression alludes to the Roman writer Pliny's description of Homer's Iliad being copied in so tiny a hand that it could fit in a nutshell. For a time it referred to anything compressed, but from the 1500s on it referred mainly to written or spoken words.
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in a nutshell

In a few words; concisely: Just give me the facts in a nutshell.
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References in classic literature ?
The sorapus nutshell had proved a false prophet, and, after all, my intuition had been correct--it was the left-hand channel that I should have followed.
Monsieur, if you are a robber, as I hope you are, you produce upon me the effect of a heron attacking a nutshell.
Caleb Plummer and his Blind Daughter lived all alone by themselves, in a little cracked nutshell of a wooden house, which was, in truth, no better than a pimple on the prominent red-brick nose of Gruff and Tackleton.
Here is the reading, as your English phrase goes, in a nutshell.
The bracelets, necklace, and earrings were all what is called Berlin iron-work; but these delicate arabesques were made in Vienna, and seemed to have been fashioned by the fairies who, the stories tell us, are condemned by a jealous Carabosse to collect the eyes of ants, or weave a fabric so diaphanous that a nutshell can contain it.
Then he goes on board the same nutshell of a skiff that he sailed in from Egypt, passes under the noses of the English vessels, and sets foot in France.
Straight down there," answered the little old woman, pointing to a tiny shadow, no bigger than a nutshell, floating on the sea.
My dear Bunny, they're capital, not only qua verses but for crystallizing your subject and putting it in a nutshell.