brief·​ly | \ ˈbrē-flē How to pronounce briefly (audio) \

Definition of briefly

1a : in a brief way briefly mentioned
b : in brief the food, briefly, was awful
2 : for a short time briefly married

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Examples of briefly in a Sentence

Several important issues are only briefly mentioned. Please briefly describe your experience. We briefly considered canceling the trip.
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Recent Examples on the Web An Army spokesman confirmed that Mr. Banyai had served briefly in the 1990s, showing up in records as a private, the Army’s lowest rank. New York Times, "A Bristling Standoff Rattles Gun-Friendly Vermont," 23 Feb. 2021 Although Hicks is the first woman to be confirmed by senators to serve as deputy defense secretary, Christine Fox briefly served in the role in an acting capacity during the Obama administration. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "Senate confirms Kathleen Hicks as Biden's deputy defense secretary," 8 Feb. 2021 Anthony Scaramucci, who served briefly as Trump's White House communications director in 2017, often has harsh words for Trump. Steve Peoples, Star Tribune, "Insurrection marks moment of reckoning for Republicans," 7 Jan. 2021 Among the first were Flynn, who briefly served as national security adviser before pleading guilty to lying to the FBI, and former Trump campaign staffer George Papadopoulos. Elizabeth Elkind, CBS News, "Prosecutors have "mounting amount of evidence" against Trump, Michael Cohen says," 24 Dec. 2020 In a wrenchingly human moment, L.A. Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer briefly choked up during a briefing on Wednesday afternoon. Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, "Essential California: Playgrounds reopen, to parents’ relief," 10 Dec. 2020 Although many previous defense secretaries have served briefly in the military, only two — George C. Marshall and James Mattis — have been career officers. Robert Burns, Michael Balsamo,, "Sources say Biden will pick retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as secretary of defense, who would be first Black leader of Pentagon," 7 Dec. 2020 Sally Yates, former deputy attorney general in the Obama administration, served briefly during the Trump administration transition as acting attorney general. Rebecca Morin, USA TODAY, "Biden made his first administration hire this week, with others on the horizon. Here are some top contenders.," 14 Nov. 2020 Ritter’s mother, Christine Keller, also currently serves in an influential position on the Connecticut Supreme Court, and his uncle, John, served briefly in the legislature. Christopher Keating,, "New generation of leadership takes over at Connecticut Capitol," 5 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'briefly.' 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 briefly

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for briefly

Time Traveler

The first known use of briefly was in the 13th century

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Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Briefly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of briefly

: in only a few words : in a brief way
: for a short period of time

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