Abridgment, abstract, synopsis, conspectus and epitome all mean a condensed treatment.
Abridgment implies reduction in compass with retention of relative completeness.
- I gave him an abridgment of this whole history, I gave him a picture of my conduct for fifty years in miniature.
Abstract applies to a summary of points (as of a treatise, document, or proposed treatment). (see also: Detach vs Disengage vs Abstract and Abstract vs Ideal vs Transcendent vs Transcendental )
- There is a section at the end of the magazine that includes abstracts of recent articles/books.
Synopsis implies a skeletal presentation of an article or narrative suitable for rapid examination.
- For each title there is a brief synopsis of the book.
Conspectus suggests a quick overall view of a large detailed subject.
- New recordings containing five of his works give a rich conspectus of his art.
Epitome suggests the briefest possible presentation of a complex whole as an ideal example.
- Even now in her sixties, she is the epitome of French elegance.