Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913 + 1828)
result(s) from the 1913
Brief (?), a. [OE. bref, F. brief, bref, fr. L. brevis; akin to Gr. short, and perh. to Skr. barh to tear. Cf. Breve.]
1. Short in duration.
How brief the life of man.
2. Concise; terse; succinct.
The brief style is that which expresseth much in little.
3. Rife; common; prevalent. [Prov. Eng.]
In brief. See under Brief, n.
Syn. -- Short; concise; succinct; summary; compendious; condensed; terse; curt; transistory; short-lived.
1. Briefly. [Obs. or Poetic]
Adam, faltering long, thus answered brief.
2. Soon; quickly. [Obs.]
Brief (?), n. [See Brief, a., and cf. Breve.]
1. A short concise writing or letter; a statement in few words.
Bear this sealed brief,
With winged hastle, to the lord marshal.
And she told me
In a sweet, verbal brief.
2. An epitome.
Each woman is a brief of womankind.
3. (Law) An abridgment or concise statement of a client's case, made out for the instruction of counsel in a trial at law. This word is applied also to a statement of the heads or points of a law argument.
It was not without some reference to it that I perused many a brief.
Sir J. Stephen.
&hand; In England, the brief
is prepared by the attorney; in the United States, counsel generally make up their own briefs.
4. (Law) A writ; a breve. See Breve, n., 2.
5. (Scots Law) A writ issuing from the chancery, directed to any judge ordinary, commanding and authorizing that judge to call a jury to inquire into the case, and upon their verdict to pronounce sentence.
6. A letter patent, from proper authority, authorizing a collection or charitable contribution of money in churches, for any public or private purpose. [Eng.]
Apostolical brief, a letter of the pope written on fine parchment in modern characters, subscribed by the secretary of briefs, dated a die Nativitatis," i. e., from the day of the Nativity," and sealed with the ring of the fisherman. It differs from a bull, in its parchment, written character, date, and seal. See Bull. -- Brief of title, an abstract or abridgment of all the deeds and other papers constituting the chain of title to any real estate. -- In brief, in a few words; in short; briefly. Open the matter in brief." Shak.
Brief, v. t. To make an abstract or abridgment of; to shorten; as, to brief pleadings.