What does the idiom "in a nutshell" mean?

in a nutshell is an idiom used by many writers. When idioms are used in the right place, they open the doors of effective communication and increase your descriptive power. In this way, you will be better understood. The meaning of the expression in a nutshell is also remarkable in this respect.

Meaning of "in a nutshell"


The phrase "in a nutshell" is an idiom that is used to mean briefly or in a few words. It is used to suggest that an explanation can be provided in a concise manner or that a plan or situation can be summarized quickly and easily.


The phrase "in a nutshell" dates back to the 16th century and is thought to have originated from the Latin phrase "in nutu," which literally translates to "in a nut." Over time, the phrase has evolved to become the English idiom we use today.

The phrase is thought to have originated from the ancient practice of storing scrolls or documents in a hollowed out walnut. This practice was popular in the 16th century, as walnut shells were believed to be a unique and secure way to store information.


The phrase "in a nutshell" is used to summarize a situation or explain a concept in a concise manner. It is often used in the context of providing an overview of a topic quickly and effectively.

The phrase can be used in both formal and informal settings. It is commonly used in speech, business meetings, and in writing.

Example Sentences

  • In a nutshell, the project needs more resources in order to be completed on time.
  • The proposal can be explained in a nutshell - we want to reduce costs and increase efficiency.
  • Let me explain it to you in a nutshell - the survey will take about two hours to complete.
  • To sum up the meeting in a nutshell, we need more time to finalize the plans.

The meanings of the words in the "in a nutshell" idiom

From One Language to Another: Idioms in Translation

Translating idioms from one language to another can be a tricky task, as the cultural context behind an idiom can be difficult to capture. For example, the French phrase "avoir le cafard" translates to "to have the cockroach," which means to feel down or depressed. Similarly, the Chinese idiom "????" (j?ng d? zh? w?) translates to "frog at the bottom of a well," which refers to someone with a narrow view of the world.


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