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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective To refresh your memory: Around this time in 2020, the U.S. had a brief moment where cases began to drop. Chris Wilson, Time, 19 July 2021 For a brief moment, this brought me back to my own high-school experience of getting cheated on. Abby Govindan, Vulture, 16 July 2021 The Americans—*establishing that for one brief shining moment, young blue-haired Natasha had an adoptive spy family in suburban America. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, 9 July 2021 For a brief moment, Budenholzer, 51, was emotional considering the magnitude of coaching in the NBA Finals in his home state with his children, wife, parents and siblings in attendance. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, 8 July 2021 For all that a coach endures — the long hours, the travel, the fickle fandom — at least Bud can have his brief moment out there. Lori Nickel, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8 July 2021 Ghani managed a polite laugh in response, adding a brief moment of levity to a tough conversation. Kevin Liptak, CNN, 2 July 2021 Eventually, Bella is called away for a brief moment, which the bear uses to run off with the Yorkie hot on its paws. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, 1 July 2021 What researchers needed was a global heat map made during a relatively brief moment in time — one that showed the flow of heat over several hours. Quanta Magazine, 22 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Though brief, the solo, as performed by the ever-compelling Brooks, is both haunting and hopeful. BostonGlobe.com, 24 July 2021 But the tragicomedy of Thompson's one brief, whining moment in the political limelight may actually have several valuable lessons to teach. D.j. Tice, Star Tribune, 24 July 2021 Yet the brief from the criminal defense lawyers, which includes the Bronx Defenders and the Brooklyn Defender Services, argues against the state’s gun laws from a progressive position. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 23 July 2021 The brief, filed Friday with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, asks that the decision be reversed and the case be sent back to district court to be heard by a jury. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, 23 July 2021 Steve Art, an attorney who submitted a brief on behalf of the ACLU for the case, shared Taylor's sentiments. Adisa Hargett-robinson, ABC News, 22 July 2021 The brief: re-create the golden age of Riviera chic. Lindsey Tramuta, Travel + Leisure, 22 July 2021 May 3, 2012 - Bonds files a brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals urging the court to overturn his obstruction of justice conviction. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, 20 July 2021 Oh, and the Americans lost to Nigeria and Australia, had to cancel the rematch against the Australians, and for a brief while had only six of the 12 Olympic team members available in camp. Tim Reynolds, chicagotribune.com, 19 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Pfizer will virtually brief US government officials Monday evening regarding the potential need for booster shots of its Covid-19 vaccine, a company spokesperson and two administration officials confirmed to CNN. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, 12 July 2021 Agency leaders will brief the state Board of Education on the rules June 17. oregonlive, 2 June 2021 Honore and other members of the January 6 task force will brief members from both parties in three separate sessions Monday. Nikole Killion, CBS News, 8 Mar. 2021 White House officials were expected to brief Mr. Biden on the negotiations after his return from his trip abroad. Andrew Duehren, WSJ, 17 June 2021 After Judy Smith became the first Black woman to brief the White House press corps in 1991, Karine Jean-Pierre makes history as the second Black woman to do so. Kevin L. Clark, Essence, 26 May 2021 Lukashenko is expected to brief Putin on the Ryanair incident. Washington Post, 24 May 2021 Grossi was expected to brief the media about the results of the talks later Sunday. NBC News, 21 Feb. 2021 The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media. Samy Magdy, Star Tribune, 5 June 2021

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for brief

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near brief

Brie

brief

brief bag

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Statistics for brief

Last Updated

28 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Brief.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/brief. Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for brief

brief

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of brief

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: lasting only a short period of time
: using only a few words
of clothing : covering less of the body than is usual

brief

noun

English Language Learners Definition of brief (Entry 2 of 3)

: a brief statement or report
US, law : a document that states the facts a lawyer plans to use in a court case
chiefly British : instructions that explain what a person is supposed to do

brief

verb

English Language Learners Definition of brief (Entry 3 of 3)

: to give information or instructions to (someone)

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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