What does brief mean?

Definitions for brief

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word brief.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. brief, legal briefnoun

    a document stating the facts and points of law of a client's case

  2. briefadjective

    a condensed written summary or abstract

  3. briefadjective

    of short duration or distance

    "a brief stay in the country"

  4. briefadjective

    concise and succinct

    "covered the matter in a brief statement"

  5. abbreviated, briefverb

    (of clothing) very short

    "an abbreviated swimsuit"; "a brief bikini"

  6. briefverb

    give essential information to someone

    "The reporters were briefed about the President's plan to invade"


  1. briefnoun

    An attorney's legal argument in written form for submission to a court.

    Etymology: From brief, from brevis. Compare French bref.

  2. briefnoun

    A short news story or report.

    Etymology: From brief, from brevis. Compare French bref.

  3. briefnoun

    A summary, précis or epitome; an abridgement or abstract.

    Etymology: From brief, from brevis. Compare French bref.

  4. briefverb

    To knowledgeably summarize a recent development to some person with decision-making power.

    The U.S. president was briefed on the military coup and its implications on African stability.

    Etymology: From brief, from brevis. Compare French bref.

  5. briefverb

    To write a legal argument and submit it to a court.

    Etymology: From brief, from brevis. Compare French bref.

  6. briefadjective

    Of short duration; happening quickly.

    Etymology: From brief, from brevis. Compare French bref.

  7. briefadjective

    Concise; taking few words.

    Etymology: From brief, from brevis. Compare French bref.

  8. briefadjective

    Occupying a small distance, area or spatial extent; short.

    Etymology: From brief, from brevis. Compare French bref.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Briefadjective

    short in duration

  2. Briefadjective

    concise; terse; succinct

  3. Briefadjective

    rife; common; prevalent

  4. Briefadverb


  5. Briefadverb

    soon; quickly

  6. Briefadjective

    a short concise writing or letter; a statement in few words

  7. Briefadjective

    an epitome

  8. Briefadjective

    an abridgment or concise statement of a client's case, made out for the instruction of counsel in a trial at law. This word is applied also to a statement of the heads or points of a law argument

  9. Briefadjective

    a writ; a breve. See Breve, n., 2

  10. Briefnoun

    a writ issuing from the chancery, directed to any judge ordinary, commanding and authorizing that judge to call a jury to inquire into the case, and upon their verdict to pronounce sentence

  11. Briefnoun

    a letter patent, from proper authority, authorizing a collection or charitable contribution of money in churches, for any public or private purpose

  12. Briefverb

    to make an abstract or abridgment of; to shorten; as, to brief pleadings


  1. Brief

    A brief is a written legal document used in various legal adversarial systems that is presented to a court arguing why one party to a particular case should prevail. In England and Wales, the phrase refers to the papers given to a barrister when they are instructed.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Brief

    brēf, n. a short account of a client's case for the instruction of counsel: a writ: a short statement of any kind.—adj. short: concise.—adj. Brief′less.—adv. Brief′ly.—n. Brief′ness.—In brief, in few words.—King's briefs, royal mandates ordering collections to be made in chapels for building churches, &c.; Papal brief, such documents as are issued without some of the solemnities proper to bulls.—The brief and the long (Shak.), the short and the long.—To be brief, to speak in a few words; To hold a brief, to be retained as counsel in a case; To take a brief, to undertake a case. [Fr. bref—L. brevis, short.]

Etymology and Origins

  1. Brief

    A brief summary of all the facts of a client’s case prepared by a solicitor for the instruction of counsel.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'brief' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2192

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'brief' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2470

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'brief' in Adjectives Frequency: #277

Anagrams for brief »

  1. fiber, fibre

  2. Fiber

  3. Fibre

How to pronounce brief?

How to say brief in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of brief in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of brief in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of brief in a Sentence

  1. Michael Winkleman:

    This is a matter that should be decided by a jury, and we are confident and hopeful the appellate court will agree, we will continue to fight and raise awareness about the dangers of unintentional toddler window falls. This case was always about Chloe Wiegand and shining a light on Chloe Wiegand brief but beautiful life. That goal has not changed.

  2. King Arthur:

    Don't let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment, that was known as Camelot.

  3. Hedy Kindler:

    It can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years from exposure to the development of mesothelioma, you can be exposed at small levels for a long period or high levels for a brief period.

  4. Horace:

    Whatever your advice, make it brief.

  5. The Republican leader:

    I am inviting the Vice President to brief Members of the Republican Conference next week to provide an update on the Administration’s plan to secure our southern border and our country.

Images & Illustrations of brief

  1. briefbriefbriefbriefbrief

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for brief

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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    separate or cut with a tool, such as a sharp instrument
    • A. efface
    • B. embellish
    • C. cleave
    • D. abash

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