"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[brev-i-tee] /ˈbrɛv ɪ ti/
shortness of time or duration; briefness:
the brevity of human life.
the quality of expressing much in few words; terseness:
Brevity is the soul of wit.
Origin of brevity
1500-10; < Anglo-French brevite, Old French brievete. See brief, -ity
2. compactness, succinctness, pithiness. Brevity, conciseness refer to the use of few words in speaking. Brevity emphasizes the short duration of speech: reduced to extreme brevity. Conciseness emphasizes compactness of expression: clear in spite of great conciseness.
1, 2. length. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for brevity
  • In oral argument, the author urges brevity, clarity and equanimity.
  • In the pleading of cases nothing pleases so much as brevity.
  • Points will be given for brevity and conciseness of your answer.
  • In a sense, the brevity of his career enhanced his status as a cult hero.
  • Her plots develop quickly, and her prose is straight to the point--and neither narrative nor character suffers from this brevity.
  • People now are willing to discuss eternity and the brevity of life.
  • They are flashes of light in a landscape that reminds us of life's brevity.
  • The performance is masterful for its brevity, restraint and emotion.
  • The range and brevity of the pieces make this a charming book.
  • By Saturday, his performance in the slalom would have been anticlimactic if it were not almost comical for its brevity.
British Dictionary definitions for brevity


noun (pl) -ties
conciseness of expression; lack of verbosity
a short duration; brief time
Word Origin
C16: from Latin brevitās shortness, from brevisbrief
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 brevity

c.1500, from Latin brevitatem (nominative brevitas) "shortness" in space or time, from brevis "short" (see brief (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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