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)
- bridle path,
- bridle suture,
Origin of brief
Examples from the Web for brief
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
Brief time remains for thee to prepare for the impending stroke, to arrange thy affairs, and to take leave of thy friends.Egmont|Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
In his brief he spoke in the highest terms of the Spanish episcopate, and of the piety and heroic devotion of the priesthood.The War Upon Religion|Rev. Francis A. Cunningham
As all the bishops in Spain were ordered to publish this brief, the Inquisition could not suppress it, however humiliating it was.A History of the Inquisition of Spain; vol. 3|Henry Charles Lea
It merely aims to be a brief recital of his present condition.The Railroad Problem|Edward Hungerford
Late in the afternoon, however, came a brief battalion drill, followed by the glorious spectacle of dress parade.Uncle Sam's Boys in the Ranks|H. Irving Hancock
- 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.