Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of brief
Meaning of brief by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From Old French brief, from Latin brevis ( “short” ). Compare French bref .


    • IPA: /bɹiːf/
    • Rhymes: -iːf


    brief ( comparative more brief, superlative most brief )

    1. Of short duration; happening quickly. [from 15th c.]
    2. Concise; taking few words. [from 15th c.]
    3. Occupying a small distance, area or spatial extent; short. [from 17th c.]


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

    Derived terms

    Related terms


    brief ( plural: briefs )

    1. ( law ) An attorney's legal argument in written form for submission to a court .
    2. ( informal ) A short news story or report.
    3. ( 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 .

    Derived terms

    See also

    • Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, 1989

    Derived terms

    External links

    • brief in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
    • brief in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
    • brief at OneLook Dictionary Search


    • fiber, fibre

Explanation of brief by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. give essential information to someone

    2. The reporters were briefed about the President's plan to invade
    1. concise and succinct

    2. covered the matter in a brief statement
    3. ( of clothing ) very short

    4. a brief bikini
    5. of short duration or distance

    6. a brief stay in the country
    1. a condensed written summary or abstract

    2. a document stating the facts and points of law of a client's case

    Definition of brief by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Brief ( brēf ), a. [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. Shak.

      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, n.

      Syn. -- Short; concise; succinct; summary; compendious; condensed; terse; curt; transitory; short-lived.

    2. Brief, adv.
      1. Briefly. [Obs. or Poetic]

      Adam, faltering long, thus answered brief. Milton.

      2. Soon; quickly. [Obs.] Shak.

    3. Brief ( brēf ), n. [See Brief, a., 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. Shak.

      And she told me

      In a sweet, verbal brief. Shak.

      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, n., 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.]

      7. pl. a type of men's underpants without legs, fitting tightly and held by an elastic waistband; also called Jockey shorts.

      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.

    4. Brief, v. t. To make an abstract or abridgment of; to shorten; as, “to brief pleadings”.