1 short, momentary, little, fleeting; short-lived, transitory, transient, evanescent, passing, temporary, ephemeral, fugitive:
The lights went back on after a brief interval. His glory was brief.
2 short, concise, succinct, to the point; condensed, shortened, cut, curtailed, abbreviated, compressed, abridged, thumbnail, compendious:
The chairman made a few brief remarks. Here is a brief description of what happened.
3 curt, abrupt, terse, short, blunt, brusque:
You mustn't be so brief with little children.
4 summary, outline, digest, précis, résumé, compendium, abstract, condensation, abridgement or US only abridgment, synopsis, extract:
This is merely a brief; the full document will follow.
5 in brief. briefly, concisely, in sum, in summary, to sum up, succinctly, in a word:
He is a cutthroat, too - in brief, the greatest scoundrel living.
6 advise, inform, fill in, coach, instruct, enlighten; explain, run through or down:
Howard will brief you on the details.