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[bree-vee-er-ee, brev-ee-] /ˈbri viˌɛr i, ˈbrɛv i-/
noun, plural breviaries.
Roman Catholic Church. a book containing all the daily psalms, hymns, prayers, lessons, etc., necessary for reciting the office.
a book of daily prayers and readings in some other churches.
Origin of breviary
1540-50; < Latin breviārium an abridgment. See brevi-, -ary Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for breviary


noun (pl) -ries
(RC Church) a book of psalms, hymns, prayers, etc, to be recited daily by clerics in major orders and certain members of religious orders as part of the divine office
a similar book in the Orthodox Church
Word Origin
C16: from Latin breviārium an abridged version, from breviāre to shorten, from brevis short
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for breviary

1540s, "brief statement;" sense of "short prayer book used by Catholic priests" is from 1610s, from Latin breviarium "summary," noun use of neuter of adjective breviarius "abridged," from breviare "to shorten, abbreviate," from brevis "short" (see brief (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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