brevity

noun brev·i·ty \ ˈbre-və-tē \
Updated on: 8 Dec 2017

Definition of brevity

plural brevities
: shortness of duration; especially : shortness or conciseness of expression

Examples of brevity in a Sentence

  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 Times4 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 WillsLincoln At Gettysburg1992
  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 MiddletonNew York Times Book Review15 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 LeeTo Kill a Mockingbird1960
  5. The book's major flaw is its brevity.

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

Recent Examples of brevity from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of brevity

Latin brevitas, from brevis — see breve


BREVITY Defined for English Language Learners

brevity

noun

Definition of brevity for English Language Learners

  • : the use of few words to say something

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


BREVITY Defined for Kids

brevity

noun brev·i·ty \ ˈbre-və-tē \

Definition of brevity for Students

: the condition of being short or brief
  • The concert's brevity disappointed fans.


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

of, relating to, or being an oracle

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman-tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!