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breve

[breev, brev] /briv, brɛv/
noun
1.
a mark (˘) over a vowel to show that it is short, or to indicate a specific pronunciation, as ŭ in (kŭt) cut.
2.
Law.
  1. an initial writ.
  2. a writ, as one issued by a court of law.
3.
Music.
  1. the longest modern note, equivalent to two semibreves or whole notes.
  2. Also, brevis. a note in medieval mensural notation equal to one-half or one-third of a longa.
4.
Prosody. a mark (˘) over a syllable to show that it is not stressed.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English < Medieval Latin, Latin breve, neuter of brevis short; see brief
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for breve

breve

/briːv/
noun
1.
an accent, (˘), placed over a vowel to indicate that it is of short duration or is pronounced in a specified way
2.
(music) a note, now rarely used, equivalent in time value to two semibreves
3.
(RC Church) a less common word for brief (sense 7)
Word Origin
C13: from Medieval Latin breve, from Latin brevis short; see brief
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for breve
n.

mid-15c., musical notation indicating two whole notes, from Latin breve (adj.) "short" in space or time (see brief (adj.)). The grammatical curved line placed over a vowel to indicate "shortness" (1540s) is from the same source.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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