• synonyms


[bree-oh; Italian bree-aw]
See more synonyms for brio on Thesaurus.com
  1. vigor; vivacity.
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Origin of brio

1725–35; < Italian < Spanish brío energy, determination < Celtic *brīgos; compare Old Irish bríg (feminine) power, strength, force, Middle Welsh bri (masculine) honor, dignity, authority
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for brio

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Gozzi gave him brio and bonarietà , with cordiality and humor.


    William Graham Sumner

  • Con brio, to the horror of the monkeys who are settling for the night.

  • Tenderly and yet with a certain amount of brio the notes came dancing from the bow, and I listened, vaguely pleased.

  • Their eloquence is natural and contagious, and the peroration, delivered with brio, is often an artistic treat.

    Heroic Spain

    Elizabeth Boyle O'Reilly

  • When the week was up Mat implored to be left behind with Angela, the maid, and Brio, a big poodle possessed of the devil.


    Louisa M. Alcott

British Dictionary definitions for brio


  1. liveliness or vigour; spiritSee also con brio
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Word Origin

C19: from Italian, of Celtic origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for brio


"liveliness, vivacity," 1734, from Italian brio, literally "mettle, fire, life," perhaps a shortened derivative of Latin ebrius "drunk." Or via Provençal briu "vigor," from Celtic *brig-o- "strength," from PIE *gwere- "heavy" (see grave (adj.)). Probably entered English via musical instruction con brio.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper