de·​brief | \ (ˌ)dē-ˈbrēf How to pronounce debrief (audio) \
debriefed; debriefing; debriefs

Definition of debrief

transitive verb

1 : to interrogate (someone, such as a pilot) usually upon return (as from a mission) in order to obtain useful information The hostages were later debriefed by police.
2 : to carefully review upon completion debrief the flight

intransitive verb

: to be interrogated for useful information following a mission, experience, etc. : to be debriefed After each mission, … the pilots land, disarm and roll into the fuel pit. They spend another hour debriefing with Intelligence …— Maria Wilhelm

Examples of debrief in a Sentence

Police debriefed the hostages upon their return. The pilot was debriefed after his flight.
Recent Examples on the Web The best CEOs reach out ahead of board meetings to discuss the upcoming agenda and follow up after to debrief to discuss additional insights. Sean Cantwell, Forbes, 1 Nov. 2021 Afterward, over Zoom, Callan asked the group to debrief the session. Adam Iscoe, The New Yorker, 25 Oct. 2021 After all is said and done with the music video, the Bassett family takes themselves from the parking lot back to their Potomac house so that Chris can take off his apron and Candiace can debrief with Dot. Shamira Ibrahim, Vulture, 26 Sep. 2021 The trio will meet the Pride in Tacoma, Washington, on Thursday, where Burleigh will assess their health and debrief them on the last two weeks. Julia Poe,, 22 Sep. 2021 At which point, Candiace, Mia, Gizelle, and Robyn are able to debrief about what just happened with Wendy. Jodi Walker,, 30 Aug. 2021 Team officials weren’t able to debrief ushers in the area where the fan shouted until after the concert ended about an hour later., 9 Aug. 2021 Team officials weren’t able to debrief ushers in the area where the fan shouted until after the concert ended about an hour later., 9 Aug. 2021 The one key for companies to maximize experiential learning opportunities is to equip managers with skills to debrief and facilitate discussions. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 29 June 2021

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

1944, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of debrief was in 1944

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Last Updated

1 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Debrief.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jan. 2022.

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English Language Learners Definition of debrief

: to officially question (someone) about a job that has been done or about an experience

More from Merriam-Webster on debrief

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for debrief

Nglish: Translation of debrief for Spanish Speakers


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