Definition of brevity in US English:

brevity

noun

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

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

      • ‘We're all forgetting that brevity is the soul of wit.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Shakespeare said that brevity is the soul of wit - he must have written a few executive summaries!’
      • ‘If brevity is the soul of wit, then Marshall is witless.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

brevity

/ˈbrɛvədi//ˈbrevədē/