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)
QUIZ YOURSELF ON “THEIR,” “THERE,” AND “THEY’RE”
Idioms for brief
Origin of brief
OTHER WORDS FROM brief
Words nearby brief
What does brief mean?
Brief is most commonly used as an adjective to mean lasting a short amount of time.
As an adjective, it can also mean concise or said in a few words, as in Keep your introduction brief and get right to the point.
Less commonly, brief can describe an action or interaction as abrupt or too short, often in a rude way, as in Please don’t be so brief with customers.
The adverb form of the adjective brief is briefly, which most commonly means for a short amount of time or concisely.
As a noun, the word brief commonly means a short written item. In a legal context, a brief is a short legal document, such as a written argument submitted to a court or some other short statement of facts for use in a legal case.
Brief can also be used as a verb meaning to provide a short explanation or summary of something to someone, as in Each cabinet member will brief the president on the most important issues. The noun briefing refers to a meeting at which someone is briefed in this way.
Example: The meeting was very brief—it lasted only a few minutes.
Where does brief come from?
The first records of the word brief come from the 1200s. It ultimately comes from the Latin brevis, meaning “short.”
Whether it’s used as an adjective, a noun, or a verb, the word brief always involves things that are short in length or duration. When you tell someone to “keep it brief,” you’re asking them to not take too long—often because there’s not a lot of time. But there’s no set amount of time that makes something brief—it just means appropriately short for the situation. When someone says “I’ll be brief” before speaking, they may have a different idea of what brief means than you do.
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What are some other forms related to brief?
- briefly (adverb)
- briefness (noun)
- briefer (noun)
What are some synonyms for brief?
What are some words that share a root or word element with brief?
What are some words that often get used in discussing brief?
How is brief used in real life?
Brief is a very common word and one of the briefest ways to say, “lasting a short amount of time.”
Barr asks for a brief recess in the hearing. Five minutes.
— Lisa Desjardins (@LisaDNews) July 28, 2020
I got to have a little chat with @mollywood of @Marketplace this morning about our brand new emotional support resource for gaming communities. Be sure to follow @GamesHotline for more info and take a listen to our brief conversation: https://t.co/mXdkviI1AS
— Anita Sarkeesian (@anitasarkeesian) August 3, 2020
Tonight, 2 of 3 candidates were finally given an opportunity to talk abt climate change & clean energy, but it was far too brief. #DemDebate
— Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer) January 18, 2016
Try using brief!
Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of brief?
Example sentences from the Web for brief
As they moved down the street, Harris waved, held her hand to her heart, and bumped elbows and had brief conversations with several onlookers.Election live updates: Trump returns to Wisconsin; Biden to face live audience at town hall|Colby Itkowitz, Felicia Sonmez, John Wagner|September 17, 2020|Washington Post
Amazon, meanwhile, set their preorders live late Wednesday around midnight ET, only for consoles to sell out within a similarly brief timeframe.F5 for PS5: All your PlayStation 5 preorder links in one place|Jeff Dunn|September 17, 2020|Ars Technica
For over a decade, astronomers have puzzled over the origins of fast radio bursts, brief blasts of radio waves that come mostly from distant galaxies.Neutrinos could reveal how fast radio bursts are launched|Lisa Grossman|September 16, 2020|Science News
After brief introductions, he told me to follow him, but he went the wrong way.How to hunt for star-nosed moles (and their holes)|Kenneth Catania|September 15, 2020|Popular Science
I’m most in love with the liner, which feels like a comfy pair of boxer-briefs even when they get wet.The Gear That Lets Me Enjoy the Last Days of Summer|Graham Averill|September 15, 2020|Outside Online
In his brief appearance today, Scalise never mentioned Duke.
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|Michael Tomasky|January 2, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Hawking, of course, came to global fame with his book A Brief History of Time.
Even when financial facilitators are arrested, incarceration is brief.
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|Russell Saunders|December 10, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Vicars' wives had come and gone, but all had submitted, some after a brief struggle, to old Mrs. Wurzel's sway.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3)|Charles James Wills
As Perker said this, he looked towards the door, with an evident desire to render the leave-taking as brief as possible.The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, v. 2(of 2)|Charles Dickens
And I finished all with a brief historical account of affairs and events in England for about a hundred years past.Gulliver's Travels|Jonathan Swift
The events which succeeded this fortunate capture are too well known to require more than a very brief recapitulation.
In brief, by the close of the year, the phenomenal conditions growing directly out of the European war had been met and overcome.Readings in Money and Banking|Chester Arthur Phillips
British Dictionary definitions for brief
- to instruct (a barrister) by brief
- to retain (a barrister) as counsel
Derived forms of briefbriefly, adverbbriefness, noun
Word Origin for brief
Idioms and Phrases with brief
see hold no brief for; in brief.