bre·​via·​ry ˈbrē-və-rē How to pronounce breviary (audio)
 also  ˈbre-
plural breviaries
often capitalized
: a book of the prayers, hymns, psalms, and readings for the canonical hours
[Latin breviarium] : a brief summary

Examples of breviary in a Sentence

a speech that could serve as a breviary for impeachment
Recent Examples on the Web Books of Hours are breviaries, or a selection of prayers and psalms taken from long prayer books used by monks. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 28 Jan. 2020 In the breviary-like Logia of Yeshua, Davenport and his coauthor, Benjamin Urrutia, assembled everything reportedly spoken by Jesus. Michael Dirda, National Review, 25 July 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'breviary.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English breviarie, from Medieval Latin breviarium, from Latin, summary, from brevis

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of breviary was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near breviary

Cite this Entry

“Breviary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


bre·​via·​ry ˈbrē-v(y)ə-rē How to pronounce breviary (audio)
plural breviaries
: a book containing prayers, hymns, and readings especially for priests for each day of the year

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