brief

adjective
\ ˈbrēf How to pronounce brief (audio) \

Definition of brief

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : short in duration, extent, or length a brief meeting
2a : concise gave a brief description of events promises to be brief
b : curt, abrupt

brief

noun

Definition of brief (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : an official letter or mandate (see mandate entry 1 sense 1) especially, Roman Catholicism : a papal letter less formal than a bull
b : a specific instruction or responsibility his brief was to strengthen the army
2a : a concise article (as in a newspaper) a news brief
c law : a concise statement of a client's case made out for the instruction of an attorney usually by a law clerk
3 : an outline of an argument especially, law : a formal written presentation of an argument that sets forth the main points with supporting precedents and evidence a legal brief filed a brief
4 briefs plural [brief entry 1] : short snug pants or underpants wearing briefs
in brief
: in a few words : briefly today's news in brief

brief

verb
briefed; briefing; briefs

Definition of brief (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to make an abstract or abridgment of brief a report summarized northeastern Siberian archaeology and has briefed many normally unavailable sources— Wendell Oswalt
2a : to give final precise instructions to were briefed before their mission
b : to coach thoroughly in advance
c : to give essential information to The president is being briefed by his advisors.
3 : to discuss (something, such as a military operation) in a briefing briefed the mission

Other Words from brief

Adjective

briefness noun

Verb

briefer noun

Examples of brief in a Sentence

Adjective The meeting will be brief. The essay is brief but thorough enough. a few brief words of caution Noun Her brief is to manage the company's sales department. a one-page brief of the intelligence report Verb The captain briefed the crew on the new safety procedures. The President has been briefed by his advisers. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective While the tenure ultimately was brief, dealt to the Phoenix Suns in 2008 amid a personality clash with Pat Riley, the impact was significant. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 22 Sep. 2022 For a brief moment during the eighth inning, left-hander Cionel Pérez stood up in the Orioles’ bullpen and began warming. Andy Kostka, Baltimore Sun, 21 Sep. 2022 His storyline is brief but leaves a mark — mostly on Silver's goons. Andrew Walsh, EW.com, 20 Sep. 2022 If the Queen's reign had been brief, this may well be how architectural historians would have characterized the New Elizabethan era. Jonathan Glancey, CNN, 17 Sep. 2022 Only a brief, earnest moment with Jerome LaMaar put a pause on their conversation. Isiah Magsino, Vogue, 15 Sep. 2022 Because the electricity system must balance supply and demand at every instant, electricity shortages themselves are very brief. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, 13 Sep. 2022 His text exchanges with Roman had always been brief, mostly to confirm the other was still alive. Serhiy Morgunov, Washington Post, 10 Sep. 2022 The storms hit hardest in the Greater Worcester area but were brief and had begun to wind down by about 6 p.m., according to Bill Simpson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Norton. Adam Sennott, BostonGlobe.com, 26 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Eagle Forum, a conservative group that was closely involved in drafting the Alabama Campus Free Speech Act, also filed an amicus brief in opposition to the university’s policy. Rebecca Griesbach | Rgriesbach@al.com, al, 15 Sep. 2022 Friend of the Court) brief was filed with the state's Third District Court of Appeals, which is considering whether the policy, prompted by an opinion from Attorney General Ken Paxton and ordered by Gov. Greg Abbott, was implemented legally. Andy Rose, CNN, 1 Sep. 2022 This summer, prisoners tried to file an amicus brief in support of the closure, detailing problems in the facility. Los Angeles Times, 20 Aug. 2022 Emmer spent December 2020 humoring Trump’s Big Lie conspiracies, joining 105 fellow House Republicans who signed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to overturn the election. Patrick Caldwell, The New Republic, 16 Aug. 2022 Another brief urging the Supreme Court to block the law was filed yesterday by TechFreedom, a libertarian think tank. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, 18 May 2022 An amicus brief is filed by parties who are not involved in a case but want to offer additional information or support. Safia Samee Ali, NBC News, 5 Apr. 2022 The brief was filed less than one week after the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced the specifics of the sweeping new rule, which will apply to 2.6 million public and private sector employees in Michigan. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, 10 Nov. 2021 The brief was filed in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, in which the Supreme Court is set to consider the constitutionality of the Mississippi law. Laura L. Davis, USA TODAY, 20 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The president receives the daily briefing at 9 a.m. ET. Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will brief at 11:45 a.m. ET. Rick Klein, ABC News, 2 Sep. 2022 Microsoft rushed into a deal after The Wall Street Journal reported that Activision CEO Bobby Kotick knew about allegations of employee misconduct at the company but didn’t brief the board. Denny Jacob, WSJ, 1 Aug. 2022 Mishori said schools should brief athletes, coaches, custodians and others about the virus. Nick Anderson, Washington Post, 13 Aug. 2022 Career lawyers at the Environmental Protection Agency, for example, failed to brief political appointees about major lawsuits. James Sherk, WSJ, 8 Aug. 2022 Reach out to lenders proactively and brief them on steps being taken. Mary Josephs, Forbes, 2 Aug. 2022 And the analysts, of course, have a responsibility to brief him every day. CBS News, 13 July 2022 For instance, when a financial services firm failed to properly brief and prepare its employees prior to a public announcement about its acquisition by a larger organization with global reach, the result was chaos that could have been avoided. Marie Swift, Forbes, 29 June 2022 But Cheney also displayed an email showing that there were discussions about having Klukowski — who had just joined the Justice Department — accompany Eastman to brief Vice President Mike Pence about how the election results could be reversed. Devlin Barrett, Anchorage Daily News, 24 June 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of brief

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1836, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for brief

Adjective

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

Noun

Middle English bref, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin brevis, from Late Latin, summary, from Latin brevis brief entry 1

Verb

verbal derivative of brief entry 2

Learn More About brief

Time Traveler for brief

Time Traveler

The first known use of brief was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near brief

Brie

brief

brief bag

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Statistics for brief

Last Updated

26 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Brief.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/brief. Accessed 5 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for brief

brief

adjective
\ ˈbrēf How to pronounce brief (audio) \
briefer; briefest

Kids Definition of brief

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not very long : short a brief explanation

Other Words from brief

briefly adverb

brief

verb
briefed; briefing

Kids Definition of brief (Entry 2 of 2)

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

brief

noun

Legal Definition of brief

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a concise statement of a client's case written for the instruction of an attorney usually by a law clerk

called also memorandum

2 : a formal written presentation of an argument that sets forth the main points with supporting precedents and evidence

Note: Briefs are filed either by a party or an amicus curiae with a court usually regarding a specific motion (as for summary judgment) or point of law.

brief

transitive verb

Legal Definition of brief (Entry 2 of 2)

: to write a brief concerning (a motion or question of law)

History and Etymology for brief

Noun

Old French bref, brief letter, writ indicating legal proceedings, from Late Latin brevis, breve short document, summary, from Latin brevis, adjective, short

More from Merriam-Webster on brief

Nglish: Translation of brief for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of brief for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about brief

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