Brief vs Debrief – What’s the difference?

Brief vs Debrief - What's the difference?
As verbs the difference between brief and debrief is that brief is to summarize a recent development to some person with decision-making power while debrief is to question someone after a military mission in order to obtain intelligence.

As an adjective brief is of short duration; happening quickly.
As a noun brief is (legal) a writ summoning one to answer to any action.
As an adverb brief is (obsolete|poetic) briefly.




(en adjective )

  • Of short duration; happening quickly.
  • * (William Shakespeare) (1564-1616)
  • How brief the life of man.
  • *, chapter=10
  • , title= The Mirror and the Lamp
    , passage=It was a joy to snatch some brief respite, and find himself in the rectory drawing–room. Listening here was as pleasant as talking; just to watch was pleasant. The young priests who lived here wore cassocks and birettas; their faces were fine and mild, yet really strong, like the rector’s face; and in their intercourse with him and his wife they seemed to be brothers.}}

  • * {{quote-news, year=2012, date=November 7, author=Matt Bai, title=Winning a Second Term, Obama Will Confront Familiar Headwinds, work=New York Times citation
  • , passage=That brief moment after the election four years ago, when many Americans thought Mr. Obama’s election would presage a new, less fractious political era, now seems very much a thing of the past. }}

  • Concise; taking few words.
  • * (Ben Johnson) (1572-1637)
  • The brief style is that which expresseth much in little.
  • *{{quote-book, year=1922, author=(Ben Travers), title=(A Cuckoo in the Nest)
  • , chapter=1 citation
    , passage=She was like a Beardsley Salome , he had said. And indeed she had the narrow eyes and the high cheekbone of that creature, and as nearly the sinuosity as is compatible with human symmetry. His wooing had been brief but incisive.}}

  • Occupying a small distance, area or spatial extent; short.
  • * 1983 , Robert Drewe, The Bodysurfers , Penguin 2009, p. 17:
  • On the beach he always wore a straw hat with a red band and a brief pair of leopard print trunks.
  • (obsolete) Rife; common; prevalent.
  • Synonyms

    * See also
    * See also

    Derived terms

    * briefly


    (en noun )

  • (legal) A writ summoning one to answer to any action.
  • (legal) An answer to any action.
  • * 1996 The Japanese Rule of Civil Procedure, Article 79 (1):
  • A written answer or any other brief shall be submitted to the court while allowing a period necessary for the opponent to make preparations with regard to the matters stated therein.
  • (legal) A memorandum of points of fact or of law for use in conducting a case.
  • (legal) An attorney’s legal argument in written form for submission to a court.
  • (English law) The material relevant to a case, delivered by a solicitor to the barrister who tries the case.
  • (informal) A short news story or report.
  • * We got a news brief .
  • * Shakespeare
  • Bear this sealed brief , / With winged haste, to the lord marshal.
  • (obsolete) A summary, or epitome; an abridgement or abstract.
  • * 1589 Thomas Nashe, The Anatomie of Absurditie 5:
  • A survey of their follie, a briefe of their barbarisme.
  • * Overbury
  • Each woman is a brief of womankind.
  • (UK, historical) A letter patent, from proper authority, authorizing a collection or charitable contribution of money in churches, for any public or private purpose.
  • Derived terms

    * briefs
    * control brief




    (en verb )

  • To summarize a recent development to some person with decision-making power.
  • The U.S. president was briefed on the military coup and its implications on African stability.
  • (legal) To write a legal argument and submit it to a court.
  • Derived terms

    * briefing
    * brevity


    (en adverb )

  • (obsolete, poetic) Briefly.
  • * Milton
  • Adam, faltering long, thus answered brief .
  • (obsolete, poetic) Soon; quickly.
  • (Shakespeare)






    (en verb )

  • To question someone after a military mission in order to obtain intelligence.
  • To question someone, or a group of people, after the implementation of a project in order to learn from mistakes etc.
  • To inform subjects of an experiment about what has happened in a complete and accurate manner.
  • Derived terms

    * debriefing (noun)