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

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of briefly in a Sentence

Several important issues are only briefly mentioned. Please briefly describe your experience. We briefly considered canceling the trip.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Tlaib was detained briefly and then released, according to the ABC affiliate for Chicago. Sean Higgins, Washington Examiner, "Rashida Tlaib arrested protesting with airline workers," 14 Feb. 2020 In September, Foose preached again, in Virginia, according to a video briefly posted on the Facebook page of Fredericksburg International Christian Church. USA Today, "‘The tongue is a fire’: Southern Baptist church fractures over secrets and spiritual abuse," 13 Feb. 2020 Stocks have generally shrugged off the coronavirus scare — briefly falling when the outbreak looks to be accelerating before continuing on an upward trajectory. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "The coronavirus is still battering oil, copper and the euro," 13 Feb. 2020 Answers to 5 pressing coronavirus questions —Why China is still so susceptible to disease outbreaks —Bernard Arnault was briefly the world’s richest man. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Coronavirus catch-up: Latest news on the outbreak of the disease," 13 Feb. 2020 She was tracked traversing through California, per the California Department of Fish and Wildlife — making the occasional trip back to Oregon, and briefly crossing into Nevada territory. Joshua Bote, USA TODAY, "This endangered wolf traveled nearly 9,000 miles to find love. She was found dead.," 10 Feb. 2020 Reyes came out on the attack in the first round, briefly knocking Jones to the ground less than two minutes into the bout. Fox News, "Jon Jones' UFC victory over Dominick Reyes is disputed," 10 Feb. 2020 The couple briefly reconciled in 2012 but Laura soon filed a response to Ben’s papers and the details were finalized in September 2013. Tierney Mcafee, Country Living, "All About Laura Dern's Marriage and Divorce to Ex-Husband Ben Harper," 9 Feb. 2020 From there, Pogue briefly left the south to become West Virginia’s outside linebacker’s coach. Giana Han, al, "Auburn hires Al Pogue as new defensive backs coach," 7 Feb. 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.

See More

First Known Use of briefly

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about briefly

Time Traveler for briefly

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for briefly

Last Updated

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Briefly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for briefly


How to pronounce briefly (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of briefly

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on briefly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for briefly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!