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Webster 1913 Edition


Brief

Brief

(brēf)
,
Adj.
[OE.
bref
, F.
brief
,
bref
, fr. L.
brevis
; akin to Gr.
βραχύσ
short, and perh. to Skr.
barh
to tear. Cf.
Breve
.]
1.
Short in duration.
How
brief
the life of man.
Shakespeare
2.
Concise; terse; succinct.
The
brief
style is that which expresseth much in little.
B. Jonson.
3.
Rife; common; prevalent.
[Prov. Eng.]
In brief
.
See under
Brief
,
Noun.
Syn. – Short; concise; succinct; summary; compendious; condensed; terse; curt; transitory; short-lived.

Brief

,
adv.
1.
Briefly.
[Obs. or Poetic]
Adam, faltering long, thus answered
brief
.
Milton.
2.
Soon; quickly.
[Obs.]
Shak.

Brief

(brēf)
,
Noun.
[See
Brief
,
Adj.
, and cf.
Breve
.]
1.
A short concise writing or letter; a statement in few words.
Bear this sealed
brief
,
With winged hastle, to the lord marshal.
Shakespeare
And she told me
In a sweet, verbal
brief
.
Shakespeare
2.
An epitome.
Each woman is a
brief
of womankind.
Overbury.
3.
(Law)
An abridgment or concise statement of a client’s case, made out for the instruction of counsel in a trial at law. This word is applied also to a statement of the heads or points of a law argument.
It was not without some reference to it that I perused many a
brief
.
Sir J. Stephen.
☞ In England, the brief is prepared by the attorney; in the United States, counsel generally make up their own briefs.
4.
(Law)
A writ; a breve. See
Breve
,
Noun.
, 2.
5.
(Scots Law)
A writ issuing from the chancery, directed to any judge ordinary, commanding and authorizing that judge to call a jury to inquire into the case, and upon their verdict to pronounce sentence.
6.
A letter patent, from proper authority, authorizing a collection or charitable contribution of money in churches, for any public or private purpose.
[Eng.]
Apostolical brief
,
a letter of the pope written on fine parchment in modern characters, subscribed by the secretary of briefs, dated “a die Nativitatis,” i. e., “from the day of the Nativity,” and sealed with the ring of the fisherman. It differs from a bull, in its parchment, written character, date, and seal. See
Bull
.
Brief of title
,
an abstract or abridgment of all the deeds and other papers constituting the chain of title to any real estate.
In brief
,
in a few words; in short; briefly.
“Open the matter in brief.”
Shak.

Brief

,
Verb.
T.
To make an abstract or abridgment of; to shorten;
as, to
brief
pleadings
.

Webster 1828 Edition


Brief

BRIEF

,
Adj.
[L. brevis, when brevio, so shorten abbreviate. Brevis, in Latin, is doubtless contracted from the Gr.,whence to abridge. The Greek word coincides in elements with break.]
Short; concise; it is used chiefly of language, discourses, writings and time; as a brief space, a brief review of a book. Shakespeare applies it to wars, to nature, &c. A little brief authority is authority very limited.

BRIEF

,
Noun.
[In this sense the word has been received into most of the languages of Europe.]
1.
An epitome; a short or concise writing. This is the general sense of the word, as explained by Zonaras on the council
of Carthage. It was thus used as early as the third century after Christ.
In modern times, an apostolical brief is a letter which the pope dispatches to a prince or other magistrate, relating to public affairs. A brief is distinguished from a bull, in being more concise, written on paper, sealed with red wax, and impressed with the seal of the fisherman or Peter in a boat. A bull is more ample, written on parchment, and sealed with lead or green wax.
2.
In law, an abridgment of a client's case, made out for the instruction of council on a trial at law.
Also, a writ summoning a man to answer to any action; or any precept of the king in writing, issuing from any court, whereby he commands a thing to be done.
In Scots law, a writ issuing from the chancery, directed to any judge ordinary, commanding and authorizing that judge to call a jury to inquire into the case, and upon their verdict to pronounce sentence.
3.
A letter patent, from proper authority, authorizing a public collection or charitable contribution of money for any public or private purpose.
4.
A writing in general.
In music, the word, if I mistake not, is now written breve.

Definition 2022


Brief

Brief

See also: brief

German

Noun

Brief m (genitive Briefs or Briefes, plural Briefe)

  1. letter (written message)

Declension

Derived terms

References

  1. “Brief” in: Friedrich Kluge, “Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache” , 22. Auflage, 1989, bearbeitet von Elmar Seebold, ISBN 3-11-006800-1
  2. brief; in: J. de Vries & F. de Tollenaere, "Etymologisch Woordenboek", Uitgeverij Het Spectrum, Utrecht, 1986 (14de druk)

brief

brief

See also: Brief

English

Adjective

brief (comparative briefer, superlative briefest)

  1. Of short duration; happening quickly. [from 15th c.]
    Her reign was brief but spectacular.
    • William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
      How brief the life of man.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 10, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      It was a joy to snatch some brief respite, and find himself in the rectory drawing–room. Listening here was as pleasant as talking; just to watch was pleasant. The young priests who lived here wore cassocks and birettas; their faces were fine and mild, yet really strong, like the rector's face; and in their intercourse with him and his wife they seemed to be brothers.
    • 2012 November 7, Matt Bai, “Winning a Second Term, Obama Will Confront Familiar Headwinds”, in New York Times:
      That brief moment after the election four years ago, when many Americans thought Mr. Obama’s election would presage a new, less fractious political era, now seems very much a thing of the past.
  2. Concise; taking few words. [from 15th c.]
    His speech of acceptance was brief but moving.
    • Ben Johnson (1572-1637)
      The brief style is that which expresseth much in little.
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 1, in A Cuckoo in the Nest:
      She was like a Beardsley Salome, he had said. And indeed she had the narrow eyes and the high cheekbone of that creature, and as nearly the sinuosity as is compatible with human symmetry. His wooing had been brief but incisive.
  3. Occupying a small distance, area or spatial extent; short. [from 17th c.]
    Her skirt was extremely brief but doubtless cool.
    • 1983, Robert Drewe, The Bodysurfers, Penguin 2009, p. 17:
      On the beach he always wore a straw hat with a red band and a brief pair of leopard print trunks.
  4. (obsolete) Rife; common; prevalent.

Synonyms

  • See also Wikisaurus:ephemeral
  • See also Wikisaurus:concise

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

Noun

brief (plural briefs)

  1. (law) A writ summoning one to answer to any action.
  2. (law) An answer to any action.
    • 1996 The Japanese Rule of Civil Procedure, Article 79 (1):
      A written answer or any other brief shall be submitted to the court while allowing a period necessary for the opponent to make preparations with regard to the matters stated therein.
  3. (law) A memorandum of points of fact or of law for use in conducting a case.
  4. (law) An attorney's legal argument in written form for submission to a court.
  5. (English law) The material relevant to a case, delivered by a solicitor to the barrister who tries the case.
  6. (informal) A short news story or report.
    • We got a news brief.
    • Shakespeare
      Bear this sealed brief, / With winged haste, to the lord marshal.
  7. (obsolete) A summary, précis or epitome; an abridgement or abstract.
    • 1589 Thomas Nashe, The Anatomie of Absurditie 5:
      A survey of their follie, a briefe of their barbarisme.
    • Overbury
      Each woman is a brief of womankind.
  8. (Britain, historical) A letter patent, from proper authority, authorizing a collection or charitable contribution of money in churches, for any public or private purpose.
  9. (slang) A ticket of any type.[1]

Derived terms

Translations

References

Verb

brief (third-person singular simple present briefs, present participle briefing, simple past and past participle briefed)

  1. (transitive) To summarize a recent development to some person with decision-making power.
    The U.S. president was briefed on the military coup and its implications on African stability.
  2. (transitive, law) To write a legal argument and submit it to a court.

Translations

Adverb

brief (comparative more brief, superlative most brief)

  1. (obsolete, poetic) Briefly.
    • Milton
      Adam, faltering long, thus answered brief.
  2. (obsolete, poetic) Soon; quickly.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)

Derived terms

Anagrams


Dutch

Pronunciation

  • Rhymes: -if
  • IPA(key): /briːf/

Etymology

From Middle Dutch brief, borrowed from Latin brevis (short).[2]

Noun

brief m (plural brieven, diminutive briefje n)

  1. letter (written message)

Derived terms

References

  1. The Routledge Dictionary of Historical Slang
  2. brief; in: J. de Vries & F. de Tollenaere, "Etymologisch Woordenboek", Uitgeverij Het Spectrum, Utrecht, 1986 (14de druk)

Middle French

Adjective

brief m (feminine singular briefve, masculine plural briefs, feminine plural briefves)

  1. brief; short

Old French

Alternative forms

Etymology

Latin brevis, see English brief above.

Adjective

brief m (oblique and nominative feminine singular brieve)

  1. brief; short in length

Declension

Derived terms

Noun

brief m (oblique plural briés, nominative singular briés, nominative plural brief)

  1. (short) letter or statement
    • circa 1170, Wace, Le Roman de Rou:
      A li brief al Conte enveié
      He sent the letter to the Count

Descendants