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di·gest • v. / diˈjest; dī-/ [tr.] break down (food) in the stomach and intestines into substances that can be used by the body. ∎  understand or assimilate (new information or the significance of something) by a period of reflection. ∎  arrange (something) in a systematic or convenient order, esp. by reduction: the computer digested your labors into a form understandable by a program. ∎  Chem. treat (a substance) with heat, enzymes, or a solvent in order to decompose it or extract essential components. • n. / ˈdīˌjest/ 1. a compilation or summary of material or information: a digest of their findings. ∎  a periodical consisting of condensed versions of pieces of writing or news published elsewhere. ∎  a methodical summary of a body of laws. ∎  (the Digest) the compendium of Roman law compiled in the reign of Justinian. 2. Chem. a substance or mixture obtained by digestion: a digest of cloned DNA.

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A collection or compilation that embodies the chief matter of numerous books, articles, court decisions, and so on, disposed under proper heads or titles, and usually by an alphabetical arrangement, for facility in reference.

An index to reported cases, providing brief statements of court holdings or facts of cases, which is arranged by subject and subdivided by jurisdiction and courts.

As a legal term, digest is to be distinguished from abridgment. The latter is a summary of the contents of a single work, in which, as a rule, the original order or sequence of parts is preserved, and in which the principal labor of the compiler is in the matter of consolidation. A digest is wider in its scope, is made up of quotations or paraphrased passages, and has its own system of classification and arrangement. An index merely points out the places where particular matters may be found, without purporting to give such matters in extenso. A treatise or commentary is not a compilation, but an original composition, though it may include quotations and excerpts.

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digest methodical or systematic compendium. XIV. — L. dīgesta ‘matters methodically arranged’, n. pl. of dīgestus, pp. of dīgerere divide, distribute, digest, f. DI- 1 + gerere carry.
So digest arrange methodically; assimilate (food) in the body. XV. f. dīgest-, pp. stem of dīgerere. digestion digesting of food. XIV. — (O)F. — L.

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a condensed or digested collection of fiction or of statements or information.

Examples: digest of laws, 1626; of scriptural text, 1825.

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Digest: see Corpus Juris Civilis.