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[breef-keys] /ˈbrifˌkeɪs/
a flat, rectangular case with a handle, often of leather, for carrying books, papers, etc.
Origin of briefcase
1925-30; brief (noun) + case2
Can be confused Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for briefcase
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • One of the men opened a briefcase and removed a large, dully gleaming band.

    Final Weapon Everett B. Cole
  • Joshua Lake entered the office with his hat in one hand and a briefcase in the other.

    The Big Tomorrow Paul Lohrman
  • She came last, carrying her briefcase full of important school papers.

    Baartock Lewis Roth
  • Arnold hesitated, eyeing the briefcase in Beardsley's clutch.

    We're Friends, Now Henry Hasse
  • At the far end, Reinhart and Dixon watched uneasily as the big Pole removed papers from his briefcase and carefully examined them.

    The Variable Man Philip K. Dick
British Dictionary definitions for briefcase


a flat portable case, often of leather, for carrying papers, books, etc
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 briefcase

"portable folding case for holding papers," 1926, from brief (n.) in the paper sense + case (n.2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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briefcase in Technology
A Win95/WinNT utility for keeping files on two computers without permanent connection in sync.
The scenario briefcase was designed for is the combination of an office computer and a portable one. You connect the two before leaving your office, create a briefcase on the portable (if you don't already have one on it), then copy the files you want to work on while away into the briefcase. You can at this point disconnect the two computers, take the portable with you and work on the files in the briefcase at home or on the road. When you get back to your office the briefcase utility can automatically update the files you changed on the office computer.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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