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be more/bigger/greater than the sum of its parts

To be something made up of a large collection of things or people in which the total unit is more important, impressive, successful, etc., than its components are individually. America is certainly greater than the sum of its parts. The global social networking site, so intrinsically connected to and supported by users, is certainly more than just the sum of its parts.
See also: big, greater, more, of, part, sum

in sum

As a final brief, concluding point. In sum, if we do not address this issue now, it will become insurmountable in a few years' time.
See also: sum

more/bigger/greater than the sum of its parts

Describes something made up of a large collection of things or people in which the total unit is more important, impressive, successful, etc., than its components are individually. America is certainly bigger than the sum of its parts. The global social networking site, so intrinsically connected to and supported by users, is certainly more than just the sum of its parts.
See also: big, greater, more, of, part, sum

sum total

Everything taken together; the entirety. Your thesis should be the sum total of everything you learned and researched throughout the year. If this is the sum total of your efforts, then we may need to seriously reevaluate your place in this business.
See also: sum, total

sum up

To give a brief and accurate summary, description, assessment, or representation of something; to summarize. A noun or pronoun can be used between "sum" and "up." To sum up, we need to reduce our expenditures and target new markets in order to grow. I feel like the book sums up everything I've been feeling since we moved. I can sum the project up in just three words: "Waste of time."
See also: sum, up

the sum and substance

The central or most important idea, aspect, or part of something; the essence or summary of something. We don't have much time for this board meeting, so let's just get to the sum and substance straight away. The sum and substance of her argument is that a redistribution of wealth would spur the economy into huge gains.
See also: and, substance, sum

zero-sum game

A situation, process, competition, or outcome in which the winner's gain is exactly equal to the loser's loss. Poker is a zero-sum game because the amount of money won by one player is equivalent to the amount lost by the other players.
See also: game

sum and substance

a summary; the gist. Can you quickly tell me the sum and substance of your proposal? In trying to explain the sum and substance of the essay, Thomas failed to mention the middle name of the hero.
See also: and, substance, sum

sum (something) up

to give a summary of something. I would like to sum this lecture up by listing the main points I have covered. It is time for me to sum up. She summed up the president's speech in three sentences.
See also: sum, up

sum and substance

The essence or gist of something, as in The sum and substance of their platform is financial conservatism. This redundant expression-both sum and substance here mean "essence"-has probably survived owing to alliteration. Shakespeare used it in The Two Gentlemen of Verona (4:1): "My riches are these poor habiliments [clothes], Of which if you should here disfurnish me, You take the sum and substance that I have."
See also: and, substance, sum

sum total

The entirety, everything, as in I spent all day in the kitchen and the sum total of my efforts is this cake. [Mid-1600s]
See also: sum, total

sum up

Present the substance of, summarize, as in They always sum up the important news in a couple of minutes, or That expletive sums up my feelings about the matter. [Early 1600s]
See also: sum, up

a zero-sum game

JOURNALISM
If a situation is a zero-sum game, the advantage that one person gains from it must have an equal disadvantage for someone else. The idea that foreign investment is a zero-sum game — that one country's gain is another's loss — is mistaken. Note: Other nouns are sometimes used instead of game. According to Reed, employee benefits are a zero-sum gain. If costs for one benefit rise, it's often at the expense of another, such as paid vacation and health insurance. Note: A zero-sum game is one in which the winnings and losses of all the players add up to zero.
See also: game

be greater/more than the ˌsum of its ˈparts

be better or more effective as a group than you would think just by looking at the individual members of the group: After their victory, the captain was full of praise for his team, saying that it was a classic case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.
See also: greater, more, of, part, sum

in ˈsum

(formal) used to introduce a short statement of the main points of a discussion, speech, etc: In sum, there are significant gaps in technological development across countries.
See also: sum

sum up

v.
1. To present the substance of something in a condensed form; summarize something: At the end of the radio program, they sum up the day's news. Here's what I learned—I'll sum it up for you. At the end of the lecture, the professor summed up.
2. To describe or assess something concisely: This poem sums up my feelings perfectly.
3. To add some set of numbers together: The teacher challenged the students to sum up the numbers from 1 to 100 as fast as possible. I wrote down all of our expenses for the week and summed them up.
4. To calculate something, especially by addition: We need to sum up our total costs for this trip. I'm sure this answer is correct—I summed it up myself.
See also: sum, up

sum and substance

The total essence of a matter. The sum in this cliché is not really necessary—substance covers the meaning quite well—but the appealing alliteration is probably what helped it survive. Shakespeare used it in Two Gentlemen of Verona (4.1), “My riches are these poor habiliments Of which, if you should disfurnish me, you take the sum and substance that I have.”
See also: and, substance, sum
References in periodicals archive ?
The defendant was also accused of receiving the sum of N96,293.05k monthly amounting to N1,155,516.6k for one year as furniture allowance from the Law Reform Commission whereas she had actually collected the bulk sum of N5,777,600.00 for the five-year period of her tenure.
For the implementation of the program for the development and modernization of water supply and sanitation systems, funds worth 584.7 billion sums will be allocated through the Clean Drinking Water Fund.
Summary: Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], July 1 (ANI): Starting July 7, Dim sum lovers can relish in the flavors of the Orient throughout the monsoon with a hot steaming dim sum line up.
Which is the only chemical element where its atomic number is equal to exactly twice its calculated sum?
"An annuity in general is more expensive than the lump sums right now and with interest rates being as low as they are, annuities are particularly expensive," Lawrence said.
It seems as if the large real dollar numbers of lump sum payouts mesmerize folks heading into retirement.
Those with at least 1 prostate biopsy core of Gleason sum [greater than or equal to]8 and at least 1 prostate biopsy core of Gleason sum [less than or equal to]7 were eligible.
We will typically use u and w in place of [sigma] and [tau], and [absolute value of w] will denote the rank of w in [P.sup.*], which is equal to the sum of the ranks of the letters of w in [P.sub.0].
The defendant had as part of his job to finalise documents certifying that the big sums were deposited in the bank accounts before any transfer to the destination, ordered by the client, was okayed.
A 65-year-old man with a pounds 30,000 pension pot would currently get an income of pounds 1,798.44 per year if they didn't take a lump sum. Taking a lump sum of pounds 7,500 would reduce his yearly income to pounds 1,366.32, just pounds 432.12, or pounds 36.01 a month, less.
where x denotes a Dirichlet character modulo q, q [greater than or equal to] 2 is an integer, which is called as a sum analogues to character sums.
If x + 9 = y, then the final sums of all the digits of x and all the digits of y are equal.
In the three months to July 2009, the development in the wages and salaries sum of the whole economy was slowed down most strongly by falls in the wages and salaries sums in manufacturing, by 7.3%, and in construction, by 4.4 %, from a year earlier.
Researchers claim people who invest lump sums in the stock market typically get better returns over the long term than those who make regular contributions.
Chicken dim sums take around six minutes to cook; prawn takes between three and four minutes and mushroom takes three minutes but, as with any recipe, judge by the appearance of your dish.