brev·​i·​ty | \ ˈbre-və-tē How to pronounce brevity (audio) \
plural brevities

Definition of brevity

: shortness of duration especially : shortness or conciseness of expression

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Synonyms & Antonyms for brevity



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Examples of brevity in a Sentence

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 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 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 "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 The book's major flaw is its brevity. the best quality a graduation speech can have is brevity
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Recent Examples on the Web Sign up now for CryptoCodex—a free, daily newsletter for the crypto-curious that explains the world of bitcoin with brevity. Billy Bambrough, Forbes, 6 July 2021 The interview has been edited for clarity and brevity. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, 13 May 2021 Our exchange has been edited for clarity and brevity. Los Angeles Times, 15 July 2021 Translations have been edited for clarity and brevity. Washington Post, 19 June 2021 Quotes have been edited and condensed for clarity and brevity. Nick Romano,, 17 June 2021 This interview has been edited lightly for clarity and brevity. al, 17 June 2021 Remarks have been lightly edited for clarity and brevity. cleveland, 16 June 2021 This interview has been lighted edited for clarity and brevity. Janice Gassam Asare, Forbes, 11 June 2021

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.

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First Known Use of brevity

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for brevity

Latin brevitas, from brevis — see breve

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Time Traveler for brevity

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

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Statistics for brevity

Last Updated

8 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Brevity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for brevity



English Language Learners Definition of brevity

: the use of few words to say something
: the quality or fact of lasting only for a short period of time


brev·​i·​ty | \ ˈbre-və-tē How to pronounce brevity (audio) \

Kids Definition of brevity

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

More from Merriam-Webster on brevity

Nglish: Translation of brevity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of brevity for Arabic Speakers


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