Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[dee-breef] /diˈbrif/
verb (used with object)
to interrogate (a soldier, astronaut, diplomat, etc.) on return from a mission in order to assess the conduct and results of the mission.
to question formally and systematically in order to obtain useful intelligence or information:
Political and economic experts routinely debrief important defectors about conditions in their home country.
to subject to prohibitions against revealing or discussing classified information, as upon separation from a position of military or political sensitivity.
Psychology. (after an experiment) to disclose to the subject the purpose of the experiment and any reasons for deception or manipulation.
Origin of debrief
1940-45; de- + brief
Related forms
debriefer, noun
debriefing, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for debrief
Contemporary Examples
British Dictionary definitions for debrief


(of a soldier, astronaut, diplomat, etc) to make or (of his superiors) to elicit a report after a mission or event Compare brief (sense 13)
Derived Forms
debriefing, noun
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for debrief

"obtain information (from someone) at the end of a mission," 1945, from de- + brief (v.). Related: Debriefed; debriefing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for debrief

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for debrief

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for debrief