[ brev-i-tee ]
See synonyms for brevity on
  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

First recorded in 1500–10; from Anglo-French brevite, Old French brievete, from briev(e), feminine of brief brief + -ete -ity

synonym study For brevity

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.

Other words for brevity

Opposites for brevity

Words Nearby brevity Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use brevity in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for brevity


/ (ˈbrɛvɪtɪ) /

nounplural -ties
  1. conciseness of expression; lack of verbosity

  2. a short duration; brief time

Origin of brevity

C16: from Latin brevitās shortness, from brevis brief

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