Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
brief (someone) about (someone or something)
To tell someone key information about someone or something, often an issue or situation. Please brief me about the candidate that I'll be interviewing this afternoon. Someone needs to brief the CEO about the investigation before he speaks to the media.
In summary; to say it briefly. The film was, in brief, dull. If you can, please explain it in brief.
hold no brief for (someone or something)
To be unable or unwilling to tolerate or support someone or something. The senator has stated numerous times that he holds no brief for the "rights" of big corporations. The boss holds no brief for slackers.
In or for brief periods of time. I caught the speech in snatches, but the kids were screaming in the other room so I couldn't hear the TV properly. I was so anxious about how to pay for the car repairs that I only slept in snatches.
See also: snatch
brief someone about someone or somethingand brief someone on someone or something
to tell someone a summary with the essential details about someone or something. We need to brief the president about the latest event. I have to brief Michael on the new procedures at work.
hold no brief for someone or something
not to tolerate someone or something; to be opposed to someone or something. I hold no brief for Wally and his friends. Rachel holds no brief for that kind of thing.
briefly; concisely. The whole story, in brief, is that Bob failed algebra because he did not study. Please tell me in brief why you want this job.
hold no brief for
Refuse to support, dislike, as in I hold no brief for liars. This term is a negative version of the legal expression hold a brief for, meaning "to support or defend a position by argument." The noun brief has been used in this way since the 1200s.
Also, in short; in a word. Concisely, in few words, to sum up. All three phrases usually precede or follow a summary statement, as in In brief, we didn't get much out of his speech, or There was no agenda; in short, they could discuss whatever they wanted to, or The sun was shining, the sky was clear-in a word, it was a beautiful day. The first expression dates from the early 1400s; in short dates from the 1300s but the present usage dates from the 1700s; the hyperbolic in a word (since there is nearly always more than one word) dates from the late 1500s.
hold no brief for somethingBRITISH, FORMAL
If you hold no brief for a person, organization, activity or belief, you do not support them or respect them. This newspaper holds no special brief for a committee that has done nothing to distinguish itself in the past. He holds no brief for formal education. Note: In law, a brief is all the papers relating to a particular client's case that are collected by the client's solicitor and given to the barrister who will represent them in court.
COMMON If someone says or writes something in brief, they use as few words as possible and do not give many details. This in brief is how I see the situation at the moment. The disease is discussed in brief here.
hold no brief fornot support or argue in favour of.
The brief referred to is the summary of the facts and legal points in a case given to a barrister to argue in court.
hold no ˈbrief for somebody/something(formal) not be in favour of or not support somebody/something, for example a cause, an idea, etc: I hold no brief for long prison sentences but this terrible crime really deserves one.
Brief in this expression is the summary of facts and legal points in a case that is given to a lawyer to argue in a court. If a lawyer ‘holds no brief for’ a person, company, etc. this is not one of their clients/cases.
in ˈbriefin a few words: I won’t give a you a long history of the dispute; in brief, it led to the business closing. ♢ And now, the news in brief.
in ˈsnatchesfor short periods rather than continuously: Sleep came to him in brief snatches. OPPOSITE: at a stretch
See also: snatch
hold no brief for, to
To refuse to endorse, support, or defend. The term comes from law, where to hold a brief for someone means to act as counsel for that person and to argue in his or her favor. The negative form of the expression became extremely common in the nineteenth century. The OED cites R. A. Knox writing in Spiritual Aeneid (1918): “When I was at Balliol we used to adopt the phrase ‘I hold no brief for so-and-so.’”