adjective, brief·er, brief·est.
- a writ summoning one to answer to any action.
- a memorandum of points of fact or of law for use in conducting a case.
- a written argument submitted to a court.
- (in England) the material relevant to a case, delivered by a solicitor to the barrister who tries the case.
verb (used with object)
Origin of brief
Synonyms for brief
Related Words for briefpithy, concise, terse, abrupt, succinct, blunt, temporary, short-lived, quick, fleeting, swift, momentary, prepare, explain, apprise, update, inform, instruct, advise, limited
Examples from the Web for brief
Contemporary Examples of brief
In his brief appearance today, Scalise never mentioned Duke.The Price of Steve Scalise’s Silence
January 7, 2015
Before we get to all that, permit me a brief reflection on this matter of Steve Scalise.Steve Scalise and the Right’s Ridiculous Racial Blame Game
January 2, 2015
Hawking, of course, came to global fame with his book A Brief History of Time.Why Can’t Movies Capture Genius?
December 14, 2014
Even when financial facilitators are arrested, incarceration is brief.U.S. Ally Qatar Shelters Jihadi Moneymen
December 10, 2014
Even the brief time spent chewing exposes foods to enzymes that begin to break it down.‘Rectal Feeding’ Has Nothing to Do with Nutrition, Everything to Do with Torture
December 10, 2014
Historical Examples of brief
From one enemy of Robert the transition is brief and natural to another.
He made his way to the house of Squire Paine, and, after a brief pause, was admitted.
It concerns myself, and will therefore be as brief as possible.
We regret that his tours are so rapid, and his journals so brief.
He made a brief gesture, like one wiping an obstacle out of the way.Way of the Lawless
- to instruct (a barrister) by brief
- to retain (a barrister) as counsel
Word Origin for brief
late 13c., from Latin brevis (adj.) "short, low, little, shallow," from PIE *mregh-wi-, from root *mregh-u- "short" (cf. Greek brakhys "short," Old Church Slavonic bruzeja "shallow places, shoals," Gothic gamaurgjan "to shorten").
from Latin breve (genitive brevis), noun derivative of adjective brevis (see brief (adj.)) which came to mean "letter, summary," specifically a letter of the pope (less ample and solemn than a bull), and thus came to mean "letter of authority," which yielded the modern, legal sense of "summary of the facts of a case" (1630s).
see hold no brief for; in brief.