Example – I’m not sure how to say this, but in a nutshell, I’ve lost my job.
Idioms with a similar meaning – in sum / in short / to put it briefly
Meaning – to summarise in very brief from, to say something in a few words
Origin – This one goes right back to the 1st century. It appears that some industrious Roman transcribed the complete Iliad onto a parchment so small it fit into nutshell!
Example sentences from BNC corpus
- That’s what I’m saying in a nutshell.
- He knew exactly what they were looking for. In a nutshell, they wanted a reliable, young worker who can handle the stress of the job.
- Put in a nutshell, dictatorships crush free speech.
- I think we saw a film of the birth of a baby and that was it, sex education in a nutshell.
- TThomas, Biggles’s editor, puts the whole debate in a nutshell:’ On the one side there’s the accusation of censorship, on the other the accusation of racism.’
CONNECTING WORDS: USEFUL EXPRESSIONS IN WRITING