brief: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (brēf), [key]
— adj., n., v. -er, -est,
  1. lasting or taking a short time; of short duration: a brief walk; a brief stay in the country.
  2. using few words; concise; succinct: a brief report on weather conditions.
  3. abrupt or curt.
  4. scanty: a brief bathing suit.
  1. a short and concise statement or written item.
  2. an outline, the form of which is determined by set rules, of all the possible arguments and information on one side of a controversy: a debater's brief.
    1. a writ summoning one to answer to any action.
    2. a memorandum of points of fact or of law for use in conducting a case.
    3. a written argument submitted to a court.
    4. (in England) the material relevant to a case, delivered by a solicitor to the barrister who tries the case.
  3. an outline, summary, or synopsis, as of a book.
  4. close-fitting, legless underpants with an elastic waistband.
  5. briefing.
  6. a papal letter less formal than a bull, sealed with the pope's signet ring or stamped with the device borne on this ring.
  7. a free ticket; pass.
  8. a letter.
  9. to support or defend by argument; endorse.
  10. in a few words; in short: The supervisor outlined in brief the duties of the new assistant.
  1. to make an abstract or summary of.
  2. to instruct by a brief or briefing: They brief all the agents before assigning them.
  3. to retain as advocate in a suit.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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