Something brief is short and to the point. If you make a brief visit, you don't stay long. If you make a brief statement, you use few words. If you wear brief shorts, you are showing a little too much leg.

As a noun, a brief is a condensed summary or abstract, especially a legal summary of a case. Lawyers submit pretrial briefs to the court outlining the witnesses for the prosecution or defense. As a verb, brief means to give essential information to someone — like the President gets briefed on important matters.

Definitions of brief

adj of short duration or distance

“a brief stay in the country”
primarily temporal sense; indicating or being or seeming to be limited in duration

adj concise and succinct

“covered the matter in a brief statement”
expressing much in few words

adj (of clothing) very short

“a brief bikini”
(primarily spatial sense) having little length or lacking in length

v give essential information to someone

“The reporters were briefed about the President's plan to invade”
Type of:
apprise, apprize, instruct
make aware of

n a condensed written summary or abstract

Type of:
abstract, outline, precis, synopsis
a sketchy summary of the main points of an argument or theory

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

legal brief
amicus curiae brief
a brief presented by someone interested in influencing the outcome of a lawsuit but who is not a party to it
Type of:
instrument, legal document, legal instrument, official document
(law) a document that states some contractual relationship or grants some right

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