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Word of the Day
Sunday, April 03, 2016

Definitions for brevity

  1. the quality of expressing much in few words; terseness: Ironically, it is long-winded Polonius in Shakespeare's Hamlet who famously says that brevity is the soul of wit.
  2. shortness of time or duration; briefness: the brevity of human life.

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Citations for brevity
Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit, / And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, / I will be brief. Your noble son is mad … William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 1604
The new, post-print literary media are certainly amenable to brevity. The blog post and the tweet may be ephemeral rather than lapidary, but the culture in which they thrive is fed by a craving for more narrative and a demand for pith. A. O. Scott, "Brevity's Pull: In Praise of the American Short Story," New York Times, April 4, 2009
Origin of brevity
Brevity can be traced to the Latin brevis meaning "short." It entered English in the early 1500s.