bre·​via·​ry | \ ˈbrē-və-rē How to pronounce breviary (audio) , -vyə-, -vē-ˌer-ē, -ˌe-rē also ˈbre- \
plural breviaries

Definition of breviary

1 often capitalized
a : a book of the prayers, hymns, psalms, and readings for the canonical hours
2 [Latin breviarium] : a brief summary

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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, "The Winter Show’s Many Small Treasures," 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, "The Exhilarating Letters of Guy Davenport and Hugh Kenner," 25 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'breviary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of breviary

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

History and Etymology for breviary

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

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Time Traveler for breviary

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

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Cite this Entry

“Breviary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on breviary

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for breviary

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with breviary Encyclopedia article about breviary

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