If something is brief, it’s quick or short. This word is an adjective:

  • After a brief delay, our plane left the airport.
  • The teacher asked for a brief summary of the reading assignment.
  • The meeting was brief. It lasted just fifteen minutes.
  • Can we talk for a minute? I’ll be brief.
  • During the performance there was a brief intermission. (intermission: a short break for the audience and the performers)

To use this word as an adverb, add "ly" to the end of it:

  • My computer briefly stopped working.
  • Our boss spoke briefly about what happened in the office last week.
  • The movie was briefly interrupted because there was a problem with the projector.

It’s also possible to use "brief" as a verb. In this case, "brief" means to provide information in a condensed (shortened) form:

  • The generals were briefed on the situation in Iraq before making plans to add additional troops.
  • A spokesperson for the company will brief the press regarding an upcoming merger.

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February 12, 2013