Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “brief”

brief

adjective uk   /briːf/ us  

brief adjective (SHORT IN TIME)

B1 lasting only a short time or containing few words: His acceptance speech was mercifully brief. I had a brief look at her report before the meeting. It'll only be a brief visit because we really haven't much time. After a brief spell/stint in the army, he started working as a teacher. The company issued a brief statement about yesterday's accident.Short in timeTemporaryNot saying muchBlunt and direct in speech and behaviourNot being friendlyDigressing and being indirect or evasive used to express how quickly time goes past: For a few brief weeks we were very happy.Short in timeTemporary

brief adjective (SHORT IN LENGTH)

(of clothes) very short: She was wearing a rather brief skirt, as I recall.Low, short and shallowThe style, appearance, and make-up of clothes

brief

verb uk   /briːf/ us  
[T] to give someone detailed instructions or information: We had already been briefed about/on what the job would entail.
Compare
Teaching in general
brief against/in favour of sb/sth [I] to make information about someone or something public, with the intention of criticizing/praising him, her, or it: On several occasions government officials briefed against their own ministers.

brief

noun uk   /briːf/ us  

brief noun (SHORT FORM)

in brief B2 If something is said in brief, it is said in a very short form, with very few details: "So you didn't enjoy the party then." "In brief, no."Not saying muchBlunt and direct in speech and behaviourNot being friendlyDigressing and being indirect or evasive

brief noun (UNDERWEAR)

briefs [plural] a piece of underwear worn by men or women, covering the area between the waist and the tops of the legs: cotton briefsUnderwear

brief noun (INSTRUCTIONS)

[C] UK a set of instructions or information: [+ to infinitive] It was my brief to make sure that the facts were set down accurately.Instructions and orders [C] specialized law a document or set of documents containing the details about a court caseCourt cases, orders and decisions

brief noun (LAWYER)

UK informal a lawyer who will speak for someone in a court of law : My brief advised me to plead guilty.
(Definition of brief from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of brief?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “brief” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

beer mat

a small piece of cardboard that you put under a glass to protect a table surface in a pub or bar

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More