Pronunciation: (brēf),[key] —adj.,-er, -est, —n., v.
—adj. 1. lasting or taking a short time; of short duration: a brief walk; a brief stay in the country. 2. using few words; concise; succinct: a brief report on weather conditions. 3. abrupt or curt.
4. scanty: a brief bathing suit.
—n. 1. a short and concise statement or written item.
2. an outline, the form of which is determined by set rules, of all the possible arguments and information on one side of a controversy: a debater's brief. 3. Law. a. a writ summoning one to answer to any action.
b. a memorandum of points of fact or of law for use in conducting a case.
c. a written argument submitted to a court.
d. (in England) the material relevant to a case, delivered by a solicitor to the barrister who tries the case.
4. an outline, summary, or synopsis, as of a book.
5. briefs,(used with a pl. v.) close-fitting, legless underpants with an elastic waistband.
7. Rom. Cath. Ch.a papal letter less formal than a bull, sealed with the pope's signet ring or stamped with the device borne on this ring.
8. Theat. Brit.a free ticket; pass.
9. Obs.a letter.
10. hold a brief for, to support or defend by argument; endorse.
11. in brief, in a few words; in short: The supervisor outlined in brief the duties of the new assistant.
—v.t. 1. to make an abstract or summary of.
2. to instruct by a brief or briefing: They brief all the agents before assigning them. 3. Law.to retain as advocate in a suit.