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 briefest
STAMPER nods—we see the briefest flicker of fear in his eyes, but it is immediately replaced with resolve.Frank Underwood Will Not Tolerate Insubordination in This Olive Garden|Kelly Williams Brown|February 24, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But the president made only the briefest of bows toward “modest” Medicare changes, entitlement reform, and tax reform.Obama’s State of the Union Almost Upstaged by Dorner Shootout|Howard Kurtz|February 13, 2013|DAILY BEAST
The briefest glance at David's productivity and output during his tenure there ought to put the quietus on that canard.
There was the briefest of lulls in jokes when Obama said he was proud of his Supreme Court nominee, Sonia Sotomayor.Obama's 6 Funniest Moments from the Correspondents' Dinner|The Daily Beast Video|June 20, 2009|DAILY BEAST
He is still described as having the briefest of attention spans—and the hottest of tempers.
It was ahead and reverse, ahead and reverse, with only the briefest of pauses in which to shift the gears.Dutch Courage and Other Stories|Jack London
There was the briefest of hesitations; then, lightly, Miss Greggory tossed the note aside.Miss Billy Married|Eleanor H. Porter
So here the outline of his career will be of the briefest possible nature.Fifth Avenue|Arthur Bartlett Maurice
The briefest outline of Donne's life shows its intense human interest.English Literature|William J. Long
But to each observation Martha made the briefest possible replies, so that in a short time he was forced to start another topic.The Story Of Kennett|Bayard Taylor
- 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.