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[breef-keys] /ˈbrifˌkeɪs/
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 confused Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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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.

    We're Friends, Now Henry Hasse
  • Apparently they were also prepared to face the police and to claim the briefcase and bottle as their own.

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

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

    Forever Robert Sheckley
British Dictionary definitions for briefcase


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
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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
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