brief·​ly | \ ˈbrē-flē \

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

The national post service, Poste Italiane SpA, was briefly a shareholder earlier this decade, while the government has also given financial inducements to private investors. Eric Sylvers, WSJ, "Europe’s Populist Left and Right Share a Common Call: State Intervention," 14 Dec. 2018 Last week, after a reporter stopped by and someone who appeared to be Daphne Campbell briefly opened the door, Casimir came outside and said Campbell had left for the day. Sarah Blaskey And David Smiley, miamiherald, "Where does she live? A Miami lawmaker's bizarre attempt to reside in her district," 3 July 2018 Later, at the fete on the South Lawn with military bands at the ready, Trump briefly opened the program before an audience that seemed to have fewer than the promised 1,000 Eagles fans, bolstered by a number of administration aides. Noah Bierman,, "Spurned Trump turns the annual Super Bowl celebration into a culture war skirmish," 5 June 2018 As the final results trickled in, the skies briefly opened. Muhammad Darwish, CNN, "Ireland's yes voters celebrate a 'leap forward' in landmark vote on abortion," 26 May 2018 Emilia Clarke briefly opened up about her final days on the HBO set. Tyler Mccarthy, Fox News, "'Game of Thrones' Season 8 teased by 'Solo' actress Emilia Clarke," 23 May 2018 The militiamen held their ground briefly, fired their weapons, and then—as Morgan had commanded—left their posts and got out of harm’s way. Alan Pell Crawford, WSJ, "‘Daniel Morgan: A Revolutionary Life’ Review: A Brawling Upstart and His Victory," 14 Dec. 2018 Election returns that played briefly on the stadium scoreboard were pulled quickly and replaced with a local rock band on stage. Will Weissert, The Seattle Times, "Cruz fends off O’Rourke in Texas Senate race," 7 Nov. 2018 Hardiman also wrote an important opinion that upheld the power of jailers to strip-search all new inmates, even those being held briefly for failing to pay a fine who do not appear to a pose a security risk. David G. Savage,, "Last year's runner-up, Thomas Hardiman has a working-class background that could appeal to Trump voters," 9 July 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near briefly





brief of title



Statistics for briefly

Last Updated

6 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for briefly

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

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More Definitions for briefly



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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More from Merriam-Webster on briefly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with briefly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for briefly

Spanish Central: Translation of briefly

Nglish: Translation of briefly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of briefly for Arabic Speakers

Comments on briefly

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


involving abstract or general statements

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