brief

\ \ [14] Brief comes via Old French bref from Latin brevisshort’, which is probably related to Greek brakhússhort’, from which English gets the combining form brachy-, as in brachycephalic. Latin produced the nominal derivative breveletter’, later ‘summary’, which came into English in the 14th century in the sense ‘letter of authority’ (German has brief simply meaning ‘letter’). The notion of an ‘abbreviation’ or ‘summary’ followed in the next century, and the modern legal sense ‘summary of the facts of a case’ developed in the 17th century.
\ \ This formed the basis of the verbal sense ‘inform and instruct’, which is 19th-century. Briefsunderpants’ are 20th-century.
\ \ The musical use of the noun breve began in the 15th century when, logically enough, it meant ‘short note’. Modern usage, in which it denotes the longest note, comes from Italian breve. Other derivatives of brief include brevity [16], introduced into English via Anglo-Norman brevete; abbreviate [15], from late Latin abbreviāre (which is also the source, via Old French abregier, of abridge [14]); and breviarybook of church services’ [16], from Latin breviārium.
\ \ Cf.ABBREVIATE, ABRIDGE, BREVITY

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • brief — 1 n [Old French bref brief letter, writ indicating legal proceedings, from Late Latin brevis breve short document, summary, from Latin brevis, adjective, short] 1: a concise statement of a client s case written for the instruction of an attorney… …   Law dictionary

  • Brief — (br[=e]f), n. [See {Brief}, a., and cf. {Breve}.] 1. A short concise writing or letter; a statement in few words. [1913 Webster] Bear this sealed brief, With winged hastle, to the lord marshal. Shak. [1913 Webster] And she told me In a sweet,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • brief — adj Brief, short are the most comprehensive adjectives in English meaning not long. Brief refers pri marily to duration; short, to either duration or linear extent {a brief interview} {a short sermon} {a short distance} {short legs} …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • brief — [brēf] adj. [ME < OFr bref < L brevis < IE base * mreĝhu , short > MERRY, Gr brachys] 1. of short duration or extent 2. short in length 3. using relatively few words; concise 4. curt or abrupt n. [ …   English World dictionary

  • Brief — or briefs may refer: * Brief (law), a number of formal document types * Brief (text editor), a popular text editor for the MS DOS operating system * a letter * Brief (architecture), a requirement imposed by a client on an architect * Briefs, a… …   Wikipedia

  • Brief — der; (e)s, e; 1 eine meist relativ lange, persönliche schriftliche Mitteilung in einem Umschlag, die man an jemanden schickt <jemandem / an jemanden einen Brief schreiben; einen Brief diktieren, frankieren, einwerfen, per / als Einschreiben… …   Langenscheidt Großwörterbuch Deutsch als Fremdsprache

  • Brief — (br[=e]f), a. [OE. bref, F. brief, bref, fr. L. brevis; akin to Gr. brachy s short, and perh. to Skr. barh to tear. Cf. {Breve}.] 1. Short in duration. [1913 Webster] How brief the life of man. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. Concise; terse; succinct.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Brief — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Se conoce como brief a la información que la empresa envía a la agencia de publicidad para que genere una comunicación. Tiene que existir una relación estrecha y de confianza entre la empresa y la agencia de… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Brief — Sm std. (9. Jh.), mhd. brief, ahd. briaf, as. brēf n Entlehnung. Wie afr. brēf n., anord. bréf n. frühe Entlehnung aus l. breve n. kurzes Schreiben (zu l. brevis kurz ). Dabei geht g. ē2 auf gedehntes l. e zurück, f ist der Reflex von bereits… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • brief — brief; brief·less; brief·ly; brief·ness; de·brief; …   English syllables

  • Brief — Brief: Mit der Buchstabenschrift, die die Germanen durch die Römer kennenlernten – die kulturgeschichtlichen Zusammenhänge sind unter ↑ schreiben aufgezeigt –, strömte eine Fülle von fremden Bezeichnungen aus dem Lat. in unseren Sprachbereich.… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

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