Brief



lasting or taking a short time; of short duration:
a brief walk; a brief stay in the country.
using few words; concise; succinct:
a brief report on weather conditions.
abrupt or curt.
scanty:
a brief bathing suit.
a short and concise statement or written item.
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.
Law.

a writ summoning one to answer to any action.
a memorandum of points of fact or of law for use in conducting a case.
a written argument submitted to a court.
(in England) the material relevant to a case, delivered by a solicitor to the barrister who tries the case.

an outline, summary, or synopsis, as of a book.
briefs, (used with a plural verb) close-fitting, legless underpants with an elastic waistband.
a briefing.
Roman Catholic Church. a papal letter less formal than a bull, sealed with the pope’s signet ring or stamped with the device borne on this ring.
British Theater. a free ticket; pass.
Obsolete. a letter.
to make an abstract or summary of.
to instruct by a brief or briefing:
They brief all the agents before assigning them.
Law. to retain as advocate in a suit.
hold a brief for, to support or defend by argument; endorse.
in brief, in a few words; in short:
The supervisor outlined in brief the duties of the new assistant.
Contemporary Examples

How Obama Got Bin Laden: A Detailed Account From ‘Showdown’ by David Corn David Corn April 28, 2012
From Ferguson Cop Embroiled in a Brutality Suit to City Councilwoman Michael Daly August 19, 2014
Iran Sanctions Battle Heats Up Josh Rogin January 14, 2014
America’s Worst Drivers: The States, Gender, With the Most Accidents Anneli Rufus December 30, 2011
The Week in Death: George Jacobs, Sinatra’s Domestic Confidant The Telegraph February 22, 2014

Historical Examples

The Black Star Passes John W Campbell
Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
Evolution Joseph Le Conte
Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, No. 327 Various
The Homesteader Oscar Micheaux

adjective
short in duration: a brief holiday
short in length or extent; scanty: a brief bikini
abrupt in manner; brusque: the professor was brief with me this morning
terse or concise; containing few words: he made a brief statement
noun
a condensed or short statement or written synopsis; abstract
(law) a document containing all the facts and points of law of a case by which a solicitor instructs a barrister to represent a client
(RC Church) a letter issuing from the Roman court written in modern characters, as contrasted with a papal bull; papal brief
short for briefing
a paper outlining the arguments and information on one side of a debate
(Brit, slang) a lawyer, esp a barrister
hold a brief for, to argue for; champion
in brief, in short; to sum up
verb (transitive)
to prepare or instruct by giving a summary of relevant facts
to make a summary or synopsis of
(English law)

to instruct (a barrister) by brief
to retain (a barrister) as counsel

(intransitive) foll by against. to supply potentially damaging or negative information regarding somone, as to the media, a politician, etc See also briefs
adj.
n.
v.
see:

hold no brief for
in brief

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