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 briefspithy, concise, terse, abrupt, succinct, blunt, prepare, explain, apprise, update, inform, instruct, advise, limited, little, crisp, bluff, small, sharp, prime
Examples from the Web for briefs
Contemporary Examples of briefs
Sometimes when a woman asks him to sign her briefs, it turns out she's still wearing them.Will the Real Jim Palmer Please Stand Up
September 27, 2014
One afternoon at 5:30 p.m., we sit in the dining room as Doug briefs the staff about the evening special: Hawaiian pink snapper.A Magical Meal at Louie’s Backyard in the Conch Republic
Jane & Michael Stern
July 13, 2014
But these briefs are serious in tone even though Ilya is funny in person.My Reverse-Cyrano Moment Wooing the Supreme Court
P. J. O’Rourke
March 30, 2014
He also wrote that he liked to wear “the briefs that are like boxers.”Erbie Bowser: A ‘Gentle Giant’ Who Snapped
August 9, 2013
He then goes on to do some stretches in his briefs, undoubtedly a pleasant surprise for some moviegoers.Zac Efron, Tom Cruise & More Actors in Their Tighty Whities (VIDEO)
October 4, 2012
Historical Examples of briefs
Briefs in all those cases were, to a great extent, prepared by Judge Willson.Cleveland Past and Present
It's better to work than sit still and wait for briefs which never corns.Young Mr. Barter's Repentance
David Christie Murray
Quentyns had been called to the Bar, and was already beginning to receive "briefs."A Young Mutineer
Mrs. L. T. Meade
When the briefs begin to come in, we'll see about something better.The Giant's Robe
If I trust to briefs, my existence will be but brief—we all must live.Olla Podrida
Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)
- to instruct (a barrister) by brief
- to retain (a barrister) as counsel
Word Origin for brief
"short, tight underwear," 1934, from brief (adj.).
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.