• synonyms


See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
  1. a flat, rectangular case with a handle, often of leather, for carrying books, papers, etc.

Origin of briefcase

1925–30; brief (noun) + case2
Can be confusedbriefcase handbag pocketbook purse valise wallet
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for briefcase

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Joshua Lake entered the office with his hat in one hand and a briefcase in the other.

    The Big Tomorrow

    Paul Lohrman

  • Arnold hesitated, eyeing the briefcase in Beardsley's clutch.

  • Even his name was initialed on the outside of the briefcase.


    Robert Sheckley

  • He caught a flash of metal from his briefcase, and, still running, looked at it.


    Robert Sheckley

  • The man on his left must have done that when he slapped the briefcase.


    Robert Sheckley

British Dictionary definitions for briefcase


  1. a flat portable case, often of leather, for carrying papers, books, etc
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

Word Origin and History for briefcase


"portable folding case for holding papers," 1926, from brief (n.) in the paper sense + case (n.2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper