Word family adjective brief adverb briefly From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishbriefbrief1 /briːf/ ●●● S2 W2 AWL adjective 1 TIMESHORT TIMEcontinuing for a short time → brevity We stopped by Alice’s house for a brief visit. Let’s keep this conversation brief; I have a plane to catch.a brief period/moment/spell etc Greene spent a brief time at Cambridge.► see thesaurus at short2 SPEECH/LETTERSHORT/NOT LONGusing very few words or including few details → brevity The president read a brief statement to reporters before boarding his plane. a brief description of the film3 → be brief4 CLOTHESSHORT/NOT LONGclothes that are brief are short and cover only a small area of your body a very brief bikiniCOLLOCATIONSnounsa brief period/timeHe lived there all his life, apart from a brief period during the war.a brief spell (=time)For a brief spell in early summer it is the most beautiful of all the trees.a brief momentThe old lady’s gaze rested on her for a brief moment.a brief visitThe president flew to Argentina for a brief visit.a brief lookHe gave her a brief look.a brief glimpse (=a sight of something that lasts for a short time)From the train I had a brief glimpse of the city.a brief pauseThere was a brief pause before he replied.a brief silenceAfter a brief silence, she made another suggestion.a brief appearanceHe made a brief appearance before reporters outside his Manhattan townhouse.
Examples from the Corpusbrief• The tale of Trescothick is briefer.• Let's keep the meeting as brief as possible.• Police caught the man after a brief chase.• This late summer would be brief enough, the warm unseasonable days of mellow sunshine couldn't last.• The chapter concludes with a brief examination of decision process and behavioural models of industrial purchasing.• After a brief intermission, the performance continued.• There was a period of comparative stagnation in the nineties and a brief interruption following the financial panic in 1907.• There was a brief note with the flowers.• The book begins with a brief outline of the history of modern China.• A Louisiana statute authorizing a brief period of silent meditation was also challenged by students.• We just have to write a very brief piece on what we did in the vacation.• They assembled quickly to hear the brief set of orders that explained their respective tasks in the battle to come.• Blagg had tried a brief smile when Maxim flashed the torch on himself for identification, but didn't speak.• The victim's parents read a brief statement to the press.• It was impossible to see everything during our brief visit to Paris.a brief period/moment/spell etc• Runners set intervals during which they run hard and fast for a brief period, and then recover.• For a brief moment I was his and he was mine.• For a brief period in the province's history, its affairs became entwined in the broader struggles for the monarchy.• Like a weak version of cocaine or amphetamine, alcohol boosts dopamine levels, producing a brief period of heady stimulation.• The Moon experienced only a brief period of intense internal activity early in its history.• It was just a brief spell of ownership; the war meant petrol rationing.• In 1940, for a brief moment, the democracy stopped touching its hat.briefbrief2 ●○○ AWL noun [countable] 1 INSTRUCTIONS[usually singular] official instructions that explain what someone’s job is, what their duties are etc The architect’s brief is to design an extension that is modern but blends with the rest of the building.2 SCL law a short spoken or written statement giving facts about a law case The ACLU filed a brief (=gave one to the court) opposing the decision.3 British English law a law case that a lawyer will argue in a court4 a short report about something5 → in brief6 → briefs
Examples from the Corpusbrief• I've prepared a brief on the economic situation in China.• His brief was to convey coal as a developing rather than a senescent industry.• Dealing with financial matters is not part of my brief.• The architect's brief was to design an extension which would harmonize as much as possible with the existing building.• The committee's brief is to investigate and report on domestic violence in the region.• The drug squad's briefing lasted twenty minutes.• Would a seasoned brief have lost it in court so easily?• The brief given to the students was quite straightforward.• The brief comprised a list of about 80 species for each chart, grouped according to pollution tolerance.• For all but the simplest actions there should preferably be a written brief which is discussed by all concerned.briefbrief3 ●○○ AWL verb [transitive] TELLto give someone all the information about a situation that they will need → briefingbrief somebody on something The president has been fully briefed on the current situation in Haiti.► see thesaurus at tell → debrief→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusbrief• The client should then be briefed.• It was clear the witness had been well briefed.• DeGaulle flew back to England to be briefed about the invasion that was about to begin.• A reporter who attempted to cover the meeting was asked to leave but was briefed afterward by project officials on what happened.• Police officers were briefed before going out to arrest the suspects.• Barristers may not be approached directly by most clients: they may only be briefed by solicitors.• At Question Time the Prime Minister is backed by the civil servants who brief her and try to anticipate supplementary questions.• Make sure that the PR department are fully briefed on their role.• All teachers were personally briefed on this procedure, which is designed to minimise underreporting of smoking behaviour.• You'll be picked up from here tomorrow night and briefed on what you have to do.• However, they have not been briefed that in this case the drop zone will be changed at the last minute.brief somebody on something• Congress has been fully briefed on the current situation in Haiti.From Longman Business Dictionarybriefbrief1 /briːf/ noun [countable]1COMMERCEofficial instructions that explain what someone’s job is or what their duties areThe auditor’s brief is to monitor and report upon agencies’ effectiveness.The topic of your talk is specified in advance, and you will be expected to keep to your brief.2LAW a document prepared for a lawyer to use when representing a client in a court of law. The brief includes all the details of the case and all the points of law relating to itHis lawyer is still preparing his brief.3British English informalLAW a SOLICITORIt’s time you got yourself a brief.briefbrief2 verb [transitive]1COMMERCEto give someone the information they need about something, for example so that they can do work related to itAllen was in London yesterday to brief investors about the company’s efforts to return to profitability.2LAW to give instructions to a lawyer who will represent a client in courtThe usual action must be taken to retain and brief counsel.→ See Verb tableOrigin brief1 (1200-1300) Old French Latin brevis