Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

2017 Word of the Year

brevity

[brev-i-tee] /ˈbrɛv ɪ ti/
noun
1.
shortness of time or duration; briefness:
the brevity of human life.
2.
the quality of expressing much in few words; terseness:
Ironically, it is long-winded Polonius in Shakespeare's Hamlet who famously says that brevity is the soul of wit.
Origin of brevity
1500-1510
1500-10; < Anglo-French brevite, Old French brievete. See brief, -ity
Synonyms
2. compactness, succinctness, pithiness.
Antonyms
1, 2. length.
Synonym Study
2. Brevity, conciseness refer to the use of few words in speaking. Brevity emphasizes the short duration of speech: a response reduced to extreme brevity. Conciseness emphasizes compactness of expression: Her prose is clear in spite of great conciseness.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for brevity
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • More I could add, but brevity is best;-- These are our claims to honour you as Guest.

  • In a few words, for brevity was easy to him, Andrew told the story of their disaster.

    Salted With Fire George MacDonald
  • The Baroness listened to them without interest, and answered them with brevity.

    Vivian Grey Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
  • “Costumes for the maskenball,” I answered, taking refuge in brevity of reply.

    The First Violin Jessie Fothergill
  • I am explaining that this Lacedaemonian brevity was the style of primitive philosophy.

    Protagoras Plato
British Dictionary definitions for brevity

brevity

/ˈbrɛvɪtɪ/
noun (pl) -ties
1.
conciseness of expression; lack of verbosity
2.
a short duration; brief time
Word Origin
C16: from Latin brevitās shortness, from brevisbrief
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for brevity
n.

c.1500, from Latin brevitatem (nominative brevitas) "shortness" in space or time, from brevis "short" (see brief (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for brevity

Word Value for brevity

15
16
Scrabble Words With Friends