brief

[ breef ]
/ brif /

adjective, brief·er, brief·est.

noun

verb (used with object)

Idioms

    hold a brief for, to support or defend by argument; endorse.
    in brief, in a few words; in short: The supervisor outlined in brief the duties of the new assistant.

Origin of brief

1250–1300; Middle English bref < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin brevis short; see breve

SYNONYMS FOR brief

2 terse, compact, pithy, condensed.
5 outline, précis, epitome, abstract. See summary.
14 summarize, outline.

Related forms

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for in brief

brief

/ (briːf) /

adjective


noun

verb (tr)

Derived Forms

briefly, adverbbriefness, noun

Word Origin for brief

C14: from Old French bref, from Latin brevis; related to Greek brakhus
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

Idioms and Phrases with in brief (1 of 2)

in brief

Also, in short; in a word. Concisely, in few words, to sum up. All three phrases usually precede or follow a summary statement, as in In brief, we didn't get much out of his speech, or There was no agenda; in short, they could discuss whatever they wanted to, or The sun was shining, the sky was clear—in a word, it was a beautiful day. The first expression dates from the early 1400s; in short dates from the 1300s but the present usage dates from the 1700s; the hyperbolic in a word (since there is nearly always more than one word) dates from the late 1500s.


Idioms and Phrases with in brief (2 of 2)

brief

see hold no brief for; in brief.


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.