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Related to brevity: levity


1. The quality or state of being brief in duration.
2. Concise expression; terseness.

[Latin brevitās, from brevis, short; see brief.]


n, pl -ties
1. conciseness of expression; lack of verbosity
2. a short duration; brief time
[C16: from Latin brevitās shortness, from brevis brief]


(ˈbrɛv ɪ ti)

1. shortness of time or duration; briefness.
2. the quality of expressing much in few words.
[1500–10; < Anglo-French brevite, Old French brievete. See brief, -ity]
syn: brevity, conciseness refer to the use of few words in speaking. brevity emphasizes the short duration of speech: reduced to extreme brevity. conciseness emphasizes compactness of expression: clear in spite of great conciseness.


the practice of conciseness in speech or writing.
1. the practice of using few words to say much.
2. a laconic utterance. — laconic, n., adj.laconical, adj.
Rare. the speaking of few words; taciturnity or brevity. — pauciloquent, adj.
Rare. brevity; conciseness.
the brief, sometimes cryptic language used in telegrams.



See Also: TIME

  1. As compact as a drop of pure water —Richard E. Shepard, New York Times, November 3, 1986

    The simile attempts to explain the mystery of the Flamenco Puro dance troop’s creative wellsprings.

  2. Brief as a classified ad —Anon
  3. Brief as a drop of dew —Cale Young Rice
  4. Brief as a grouch’s smile —Anon
  5. Brief as a sinner’s prayer —Anon
  6. Brief as a twinge —Margaret Atwood
  7. Brief as the Z column in a pocket dictionary —Irvin S. Cobb

    Or, to be even more specific, “Brief as the Z column in this dictionary.”

  8. Brief as youth in retrospect —Elyse Sommer
  9. (Smiled) briefly, on and off like a light switch —Gavin Lyall
  10. Concise as a telegram —Elyse Sommer
  11. Short as any dream —William Shakespeare
  12. Short, clear as a bird-note, trailing away —E. B. White
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.brevity - the use of brief expressions
terseness - a neatly short and concise expressive style
2.brevity - the attribute of being brief or fleetingbrevity - the attribute of being brief or fleeting
length, duration - continuance in time; "the ceremony was of short duration"; "he complained about the length of time required"


1. shortness, transience, impermanence, ephemerality, briefness, transitoriness The bonus of this homely soup is the brevity of its cooking time.
2. conciseness, economy, crispness, concision, terseness, succinctness, curtness, pithiness The brevity of the letter concerned me.
conciseness rambling, verbiage, tautology, wordiness, verbosity, redundancy, diffuseness, tediousness, prolixity, long-windedness, discursiveness, circuity, verboseness
"Brevity is the soul of wit" [William Shakespeare Hamlet]
"I strive to be brief, and I become obscure" [Horace Ars Poetica]
stuttleiki, gagnorîur stíll


[ˈbrevɪtɪ] N (= shortness) → brevedad f; (= conciseness) → concisión f
brevity is the soul of witlo bueno si breve dos veces bueno


[ˈbrɛvɪti] n [event] → brièveté f; [speech] → concision f


(= shortness)Kürze f
(= conciseness)Kürze f, → Bündigkeit f, → Knappheit f; brevity is the soul of wit (Prov) → in der Kürze liegt die Würze (Prov)


[ˈbrɛvɪtɪ] nbrevità


(briːf) adjective
not long; short. a brief visit; a brief account.
a short statement of facts (especially in a lawsuit, of a client's case). a lawyer's brief.
to give detailed instructions to (especially a barrister, group of soldiers etc). The astronauts were briefed before the space mission.
ˈbriefing noun
instructions and information. The pilots were given a briefing before they left.
ˈbriefly adverb
He told me briefly what he knew.
briefs noun plural
(used especially in shops) women's pants or men's underpants. a pair of briefs.
brevity (ˈbrevəti) noun
shortness (of speech, writing, time etc). He is well known for the brevity of his speeches.
ˈbriefcase noun
a light case for papers, made of leather etc. a businessman's briefcase.
in brief
in a few words. In brief, we have been successful.
References in classic literature ?
As for the tribe itself, it had been content to announce to Montcalm, through his emissaries, with Indian brevity, that their hatchets were dull, and time was necessary to sharpen them.
I don't know what there was in this brevity of Mrs.
But what plays the mischief with this masterly code is the admirable brevity of it, which necessitates a vast volume of commentaries to expound it.
It is my way--it always was my way, by instinct--ever to meet the brief with brevity, the direct with plainness.
He had had it conveyed to him, in an accidental touch of his wife's elbow as she knitted and warbled, that he would do best to answer, but always with brevity.
I visited many other apartments, but shall not trouble my reader with all the curiosities I observed, being studious of brevity.
Then had come Lord Henry Wotton with his strange panegyric on youth, his terrible warning of its brevity.
I the rather consult brevity in discussing the probability of a preference founded upon a discrimination between the different kinds of industry and property, because, as far as I understand the meaning of the objectors, they contemplate a discrimination of another kind.
The morning papers on Saturday contained, in addition to lengthy special articles on the planet Mars, on life in the planets, and so forth, a brief and vaguely worded telegram, all the more striking for its brevity.
My faith, my dear Aramis," said D'Artagnan, who detested verses almost as much as he did Latin, "add to the merit of the difficulty that of the brevity, and you are sure that your poem will at least have two merits.
She answered with equal indifference and brevity, and the others said no more.
The fleet anchored at Spithead": can anyone want a better sentence for brevity and seamanlike ring?