Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

brief

play
adjective \ˈbrēf\

Simple Definition of brief

  • : lasting only a short period of time

  • : using only a few words

  • of clothing : covering less of the body than is usual

Full Definition of brief

  1. 1 :  short in duration, extent, or length

  2. 2 a :  concise b :  curt, abrupt

brief·ness noun

Examples of brief

  1. The meeting will be brief.

  2. The essay is brief but thorough enough.

  3. a few brief words of caution



Origin of brief

Middle English bref, breve, from Anglo-French bref, brief, from Latin brevis; akin to Old High German murg short, Greek brachys


First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with brief


2

brief

noun

Simple Definition of brief

  • : a brief statement or report

  • law : a document that states the facts a lawyer plans to use in a court case

  • : instructions that explain what a person is supposed to do

Full Definition of brief

  1. 1 a :  an official letter or mandate; especially :  a papal letter less formal than a bull b :  a specific instruction or responsibility <his brief was to strengthen the army>

  2. 2 [1brief]

  3. a :  a concise article b :  synopsis, summary c :  a concise statement of a client's case made out for the instruction of counsel in a trial at law

  4. 3 :  an outline of an argument; especially :  a formal outline especially in law that sets forth the main contentions with supporting statements or evidence

  5. 4 plural :  short snug pants or underpants

in brief
  1. :  in a few words :  briefly

Examples of brief

  1. Her brief is to manage the company's sales department.

  2. <a one-page brief of the intelligence report>



Origin of brief

Middle English bref, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin brevis, from Late Latin, summary, from Latin brevis, adjective


First Known Use: 14th century


3

brief

verb

Simple Definition of brief

  • : to give information or instructions to (someone)

Full Definition of brief

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to make an abstract or abridgment of

  3. 2 a :  to give final precise instructions to b :  to coach thoroughly in advance c :  to give essential information to

  4. 3 :  to discuss (as a military operation) in a briefing <briefed the mission>

brief·er noun

Examples of brief

  1. The captain briefed the crew on the new safety procedures.

  2. The President has been briefed by his advisers.



15th Century

First Known Use of brief

15th century

Other Broadcasting Terms



BRIEF Defined for Kids

1

brief

play
adjective \ˈbrēf\

Definition of brief

brief·erbrief·est

  1. :  not very long :  short <a brief explanation>

brief·ly adverb



2

brief

play
verb

Definition of brief

briefedbrief·ing

  1. :  to give information or instructions to <The captain briefed the crew on the plan.>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up brief? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 9, 2016

marked by high spirits and laughter

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

spindrift duvet pince-nez kittly-benders
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ