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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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


n, pl -ties
1. conciseness of expression; lack of verbosity
2. a short duration; brief time
[C16: from Latin brevitās shortness, from brevis brief]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


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.
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.



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
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


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]
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
stuttleiki, gagnorîur stíll


[ˈbrevɪtɪ] N (= shortness) → brevedad f; (= conciseness) → concisión f
brevity is the soul of witlo bueno si breve dos veces bueno
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈbrɛvɪti] n [event] → brièveté f; [speech] → concision f
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(= shortness)Kürze f
(= conciseness)Kürze f, → Bündigkeit f, → Knappheit f; brevity is the soul of wit (Prov) → in der Kürze liegt die Würze (Prov)
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈbrɛvɪtɪ] nbrevità
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(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.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
"The fleet anchored at Spithead": can anyone want a better sentence for brevity and seamanlike ring?
I visited many other apartments, but shall not trouble my reader with all the curiosities I observed, being studious of brevity.
Tollmidge must have possessed one great merit as a letter-writer--the merit of brevity. He will weary nobody's patience, if he is allowed to have a hearing.
The brevity of life hath likewise given occasion to this comparison.
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.
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.
She answered with equal indifference and brevity, and the others said no more.
'From Mr Ralph Nickleby,' said Newman, announcing his errand, when he got upstairs, with all possible brevity.
"Very well, let it bust up!" replied the Floridans, with a brevity of the days of ancient Sparta.
The telephone attendants at London clubs are masters of suggestive brevity. The one in the basement of Brown's had written on Bill's slip of paper the words: '1 p.m.
A remarkable instance of the effect of undue brevity in depressing a poem, in keeping it out of the popular view, is afforded by the following exquisite little Serenade--