[ bree-vee-er-ee, brev-ee- ]
/ ˈbri viˌɛr i, ˈbrɛv i- /

noun, plural bre·vi·ar·ies.

Roman Catholic Church. a book containing all the daily psalms, hymns, prayers, lessons, etc., necessary for reciting the office.
a book of daily prayers and readings in some other churches.

Origin of breviary

First recorded in 1540–50, breviary is from the Latin word breviārium an abridgment. See brevi-, -ary Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for breviary

British Dictionary definitions for breviary


/ (ˈbriːvjərɪ) /

noun plural -ries

RC Church a book of psalms, hymns, prayers, etc, to be recited daily by clerics in major orders and certain members of religious orders as part of the divine office
a similar book in the Orthodox Church

Word Origin for breviary

C16: from Latin breviārium an abridged version, from breviāre to shorten, from brevis short
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 breviary



1540s, "brief statement;" sense of "short prayer book used by Catholic priests" is from 1610s, from Latin breviarium "summary," noun use of neuter of adjective breviarius "abridged," from breviare "to shorten, abbreviate," from brevis "short" (see brief (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper