|This page in a nutshell: Each Wikipedia article should include a concise explanation of its scope in the form of a short description of no more than about 40 characters. These descriptions appear in Wikipedia mobile and some desktop searches, and help users identify the desired article.|
The short description of a Wikipedia article or of another namespace page is a concise explanation of the scope of the page. These descriptions appear in Wikipedia mobile and some desktop searches, and help users identify the desired article. When viewing an article, some mobile Wikipedia Apps also display the description below the page title.
Short descriptions do not appear by default when viewing an article in desktop view, but logged-in users who wish to see and edit them can do so easily by enabling the Shortdesc helper in their Preferences "gadgets".