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3 definitions found
 for in brief
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Brief \Brief\ (br[=e]f), a. [OE. bref, F. brief, bref, fr. L.
     brevis; akin to Gr. brachy`s short, and perh. to Skr. barh to
     tear. Cf. Breve.]
     1. Short in duration.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              How brief the life of man.            --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. Concise; terse; succinct.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              The brief style is that which expresseth much in
              little.                               --B. Jonson.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     3. Rife; common; prevalent. [Prov. Eng.]
        [1913 Webster]
  
     In brief. See under Brief, n.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     Syn: Short; concise; succinct; summary; compendious;
          condensed; terse; curt; transitory; short-lived.
          [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Brief \Brief\ (br[=e]f), n. [See Brief, a., and cf. Breve.]
     1. A short concise writing or letter; a statement in few
        words.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Bear this sealed brief,
              With winged hastle, to the lord marshal. --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              And she told me
              In a sweet, verbal brief.             --Shak.
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     2. An epitome.
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              Each woman is a brief of womankind.   --Overbury.
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     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.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              It was not without some reference to it that I
              perused many a brief.                 --Sir J.
                                                    Stephen.
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     Note: In England, the brief is prepared by the attorney; in
           the United States, counsel generally make up their own
           briefs.
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     4. (Law) A writ; a breve. See Breve, n., 2.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     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.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     6. A letter patent, from proper authority, authorizing a
        collection or charitable contribution of money in
        churches, for any public or private purpose. [Eng.]
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     7. pl. a type of men's underpants without legs, fitting
        tightly and held by an elastic waistband; also called
        Jockey shorts.
        [PJC]
  
     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.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  in brief
      adv 1: in a concise manner; in a few words; "the history is
             summed up concisely in this book"; "she replied briefly";
             "briefly, we have a problem"; "to put it shortly" [syn:
             concisely, briefly, shortly, in brief, in
             short]

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