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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.
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.

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

Whose Neglect Ushered in 9/11? Not Bush David Frum September 10, 2012
Zac Efron, Tom Cruise & More Actors in Their Tighty Whities (VIDEO) Mike Munoz October 3, 2012
Economists Argue Over the Cost of Caring for the Uninsured Einer Elhauge March 24, 2012
A Magical Meal at Louie’s Backyard in the Conch Republic Jane & Michael Stern July 12, 2014
Eric Holder’s Troubles Mount Philip Shenon March 20, 2010

Historical Examples

Ten Thousand a-Year. Volume 1. Samuel Warren
Young Mr. Barter’s Repentance David Christie Murray
Thackerayana William Makepeace Thackeray
A Young Mutineer Mrs. L. T. Meade
A History of the Inquisition of Spain; vol. 1 Henry Charles Lea

plural noun
men’s underpants or women’s pants without legs
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
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

hold no brief for
in brief


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