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adj. brief·er, brief·est
1. Short in time, duration, length, or extent.
2. Succinct; concise: a brief account of the incident.
3. Curt; abrupt: We were upset because he was so brief with us.
1. A short, succinct statement.
2. A condensation or an abstract of a larger document or series of documents.
3. Law A document concisely stating the legal points being made, including often the citation and explanation of supporting legal authority.
4. Roman Catholic Church A papal letter that is not as formal as a bull.
5. A briefing.
6. often briefs Short, tight-fitting underpants.
7. briefs Chiefly British The instructions that are given to explain a task or assignment.
tr.v. briefed, brief·ing, briefs
1. To give instructions or preparatory information to: briefed the astronauts before the mission.
2. To summarize.
in brief
In short.

[Middle English bref, from Old French, from Latin brevis. N., Middle English bref, written communication, from Old French, from Medieval Latin breve, from Latin, neuter of brevis, short; see mregh-u- in Indo-European roots.]

brief′er n.
brief′ly adv.
brief′ness n.


1. 'short'

Short is an adjective. You usually use it to say that something does not last for a long time.

Let's take a short break.
She made a short speech.
2. 'shortly'

Shortly is an adverb. If something is going to happen shortly, it is going to happen soon. This is a slightly old-fashioned use.

They should be returning shortly.

If something happened shortly after something else, it happened soon after it.

She died shortly afterwards.
Very shortly after I started my job, I got promoted.
3. 'briefly'

Don't use 'shortly' to say that something lasts or is done for a short time. Don't say, for example, 'She told them shortly what had happened'. Use briefly.

She told them briefly what had happened.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.briefly - for a short time; "she visited him briefly"; "was briefly associated with IBM"
2.briefly - in a concise manner; in a few words; "the history is summed up concisely in this book"; "she replied briefly"; "briefly, we have a problem"; "to put it shortly"


2. in outline, in brief, in passing, in a nutshell, concisely, in a few words There are four alternatives; they are described briefly below.
i korthedkortkortfattet
í stuttu máli
na kratko
một cách ngắn gọn


[ˈbriːflɪ] ADV
1. (= for short time) [speak, reply, smile, pause] → brevemente
she visited us brieflynos hizo una breve or corta visita
"good morning," he said, looking up briefly"buenos días," dijo, levantando la vista fugazmente
I wondered briefly if he were lyingpor un momento me pregunté si no estaría mintiendo
he was briefly detained by the policela policía lo tuvo detenido durante un corto espacio de tiempo
2. (= in brief) [tell, reply, describe] → en pocas palabras, en resumen
the facts, briefly, are theselos hechos, en pocas palabras or en resumen, son éstos
briefly, we still don't knowen resumen or en suma, aún no lo sabemos


[ˈbriːfli] adv
[speak] → brièvement
[explain, describe] → en quelques mots
[live, work, appear, hold] → pendant peu de temps
[smile, chat] → un bref instant
[visit] → en coup de vent
to glimpse briefly → entrevoir




[ˈbriːflɪ] adv (speak, visit) → brevemente; (glimpse) → di sfuggita


(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.


لـَحْظَةً krátce kort kurz εν συντομία brevemente lyhyesti brièvement kratko brevemente 簡単に 간단히 even kort krótko brevemente коротко kortfattat อย่างสั้น kısaca một cách ngắn gọn 简要地
References in classic literature ?
When they rejoined the expecting and anxious females, he briefly acquainted them with the conditions of their new guide, and with the necessity that existed for their hushing every apprehension in instant and serious exertions.
Most of the memorable events I have myself been exercised in; and, for the satisfaction of the public, will briefly relate the circumstances of my adventures, and scenes of life, from my first movement to this country until this day.
It would never suit Clifford," said Hepzibah, as briefly as before.
When no longer called upon to speak or listen -- either of which operations cost him an evident effort -- his face would briefly subside into its former not uncheerful quietude.
Grose briefly silent; then she granted my point with a frankness which, I made sure, had more behind it.
In the first place, I wish to lay before you a particular, plain statement, touching the living bulk of this leviathan, whose skeleton we are briefly to exhibit.
Connor was under the doctor's care, the lawyer explained briefly, and if his Honor would hold the prisoner for a week--"Three hundred dollars," said his Honor, promptly.
The senator, in a few words, briefly explained Eliza's history.
D'Arve tells the story briefly in his HISTOIRE DU MONT BLANC.
Well, briefly, the knife was to blame for that, all around.
Whilst I am detailing bloody deeds which took place during my stay on Colonel Lloyd's plantation, I will briefly narrate another, which occurred about the same time as the murder of Demby by Mr.
Upon the whole, she was very persuadable; and it being briefly settled among themselves how it might be done without neglecting his comforthow certainly Mrs.