Definition of brevity in English:

brevity

noun

mass noun
  • 1Concise and exact use of words in writing or speech.

    ‘the staff will edit manuscripts with a view to brevity and clarity’
    ‘for brevity, it is worth using these little symbols’
    • ‘Jin does not endow his protagonist with high powers of lyricism, brevity or a particularly happy ending.’
    • ‘The need for brevity made Lincoln pack a great deal into few words.’
    • ‘There were other items in the agreement that have been omitted for brevity.’
    • ‘We have condensed the ideas into our own words, for the sake of brevity and clarity.’
    • ‘It benefits from its clear writing style, its many examples, and its brevity.’
    • ‘Strengths of the book are its brevity, the lively, incisive writing, and the authors' willingness to take a stand.’
    • ‘The 900-page books aside, we applaud brevity, speed and quick thinking.’
    • ‘A customer who responds positively to a cleverly worded e-mail may prefer brevity and clarity in voice mail messages.’
    • ‘By its brevity, that one word expands to fill the scene, and remains as an indelible memory.’
    • ‘In the interests, I imagine, of brevity, those last two words have been omitted in later editions.’
    • ‘None of this is compromised for the sake of brevity.’
    • ‘In spite of its brevity, it is the most comprehensive summary listing that I have seen in print.’
    • ‘And the first lesson all journalists should learn is that brevity - clear, tight writing - is key.’
    • ‘The initial sections are tight little vignettes whose brevity lends them a narrative crispness.’
    • ‘This brevity and intensity of focus leads to a succinct cinematic statement.’
    • ‘He searched for the right words to relay this information with brevity.’
    • ‘Imagine the exclamatory brevity that space travel writing might bring.’
    • ‘I'd say that is because it is a model of brevity and clarity.’
    • ‘He explains, Americans are conditioned to equate visual brevity with success and power.’
    • ‘Men talk about facts and want clarity and brevity.’
    • ‘This election campaign, which thanks to its brevity has been heated from the start, is not going to the strategists' plans.’
    conciseness, concision, succinctness, economy of language, compendiousness, shortness, briefness, pithiness, pith, incisiveness, crispness, compactness, compression
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Shortness of time.
      ‘the brevity of human life’
      • ‘The brevity of the counseling intervention may have been insufficient to affect change.’
      • ‘Considered as a whole, the seams do show cuts were made in the interests of brevity.’
      • ‘Indeed, the only thing particularly remarkable about the story is it relative brevity.’
      • ‘Its only saving grace was its brevity - 78 minutes that crawled by like the Hundred Years' War.’
      • ‘In the interest of brevity, we decided to reduce the initial item pool.’
      • ‘We're not showing the output for reasons of brevity, but you could try it on your own.’
      • ‘In the interest of brevity (here as well as in my initial post) I use these terms loosely.’
      • ‘So, in the interest of brevity, here's a quick rundown of what sucked.’
      • ‘Its refreshing brevity of ten minutes made it a convenient apéritif for the concerto to follow.’
      • ‘Conversely, the shorter numbers are often stifling in their brevity.’
      • ‘But in the interest of brevity I now leave this short summary as it is.’
      • ‘The brevity of the short film format, sadly, undermines the good intentions of the filmmakers.’
      • ‘He did so with an ability, clarity and, given the mass of material, brevity for which we both thank and commend him.’
      • ‘Its brevity and limited depth really hurts, rather than helps it.’
      • ‘The one factor in the movie's favor is its brevity - only 81 minutes, including credits.’
      • ‘This is a haunting and powerful piece, all the more effective for its relative brevity.’
      • ‘The movie's brevity (it's only two hours long) thus comes as a relief.’
      • ‘The number and brevity of the scenes also present problems.’
      • ‘If there was one thing that disappointed me it was the apparent brevity of the show.’
      • ‘In spite of its brevity, it still remains a fine specimen of how a group of fragmentary ideas can be moulded into a unified whole.’
      shortness, briefness, transience, transitoriness, ephemerality, impermanence
      View synonyms

Phrases

  • brevity is the soul of wit

    • proverb The essence of a witty statement lies in its concise wording and delivery.

      • ‘Shakespeare said that brevity is the soul of wit - he must have written a few executive summaries!’
      • ‘We're all forgetting that brevity is the soul of wit.’
      • ‘If brevity is the soul of wit, then Marshall is witless.’
      • ‘And since brevity is the soul of wit, I will be brief: GET THEE TO A NUNNERY!’
      • ‘Both of their guitars seem to be learning that brevity is the soul of wit, and discretion that of power.’

Origin

Late 15th century: from Old French brievete, from Latin brevitas, from brevis ‘brief’.

Pronunciation

brevity

/ˈbrɛvɪti/