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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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