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noun brev·i·ty \ˈbre-və-tē\

Simple Definition of brevity

  • : the use of few words to say something

  • : the quality or fact of lasting only for a short period of time

Full Definition of brevity

plural brev·i·ties

  1. :  shortness of duration; especially :  shortness or conciseness of expression

Examples of brevity

  1. Mike Espy resigned under pressure as Secretary of Agriculture yesterday at a news conference remarkable for its brevity and general absence of whining. —New York Times, 4 Oct. 1994

  2. Lincoln was able to achieve the loftiness, ideality, and brevity of the Gettysburg Address because he had spent a good part of the 1850s repeatedly relating all the most sensitive issues of the day to the Declaration's supreme principle. —Garry Wills, Lincoln At Gettysburg, 1992

  3. The book's brevity is its major defect. Admittedly, readers of military history have been smothered by portentous tomes of a thousand pages or more. But 365 pages are too few to tell the Normandy story. —Drew Middleton, New York Times Book Review, 15 Aug. 1982

  4. “Maudie, I'm sure I don't know what you mean,” said Mrs. Merriweather. “I'm sure you do,” Miss Maudie said shortly. She said no more. When Miss Maudie was angry, her brevity was icy. —Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960

  5. The book's major flaw is its brevity.

  6. <the best quality a graduation speech can have is brevity>

Origin of brevity

Latin brevitas, from brevis (see breve)

First Known Use: 15th century

Rhymes with brevity

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February 11, 2016

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