Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “brief”

See all translations

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 don't have 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. used to express how quickly time goes past: For a few brief weeks we were very happy.
More examples

brief adjective (SHORT IN LENGTH)

(of clothes) very short: She was wearing a fairly brief skirt, as I recall.

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
brief against/in favour of sb/sth [I] UK 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 much." "In brief, no."

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 briefs

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. [C] specialized law a document or set of documents containing the details about a court case

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

hard luck story

a story or piece of information that someone tells you or writes about himself or herself, intended to make you feel feel sympathy for that person

Word of the Day

Think long and hard; the language of decisions

by Liz Walter,
January 28, 2015
One of the best ways (perhaps the best way) to improve your English is to learn how words go together in phrases, idioms, or other patterns such as verb/noun or adjective/noun pairs (often called ‘collocations’). This blog looks at some useful phrases and collocations connected with the subject of decisions, something we

Read More 

micro pig noun

January 26, 2015
an extremely small pig, bred to be a pet Micro pigs have become popular pets recently, with famous owners including Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton and Olympic diver, Tom Daley.

Read More