Definition of brief noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//briːf//
    ; NAmE NAmE//briːf//
    see also briefs
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  1. 1(British English) the instructions that a person is given explaining what their job is and what their duties are It wasn't part of his brief to speak to the press. I was given the brief of reorganizing the department. to stick to your brief (= to only do what you are asked to do) to prepare/produce a brief for somebody
  2. 2(British English, law) a legal case that is given to a lawyer to argue in court; a piece of work for a barrister Will you accept this brief?
  3. 3(North American English, law) a written summary of the facts that support one side of a legal case, that will be presented to a court
  4. 4(British English, informal) a solicitor or a defence lawyer I want to see my brief.
  5. 5(especially North American English) = briefing (2) Officials are pushing for this target to be included in the next presidential brief.
  6. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French brief, from Latin brevis ‘short’. The noun is via late Latin breve ‘note, dispatch’, hence ‘an official letter’.Extra examples He told me to stick to my brief. How the new policy is to be implemented is outside his brief. I hold no brief for either side in this conflict. It’s not part of my brief to advise on financial matters. She makes all these points in her brief. We were given daily briefs by the commander. a technical brief on food hygieneIdioms
    hold no brief for somebody/something
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    (formal) to not support or be in favour of somebody/something I hold no brief for either side in this war.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: brief