brief, noun

Origin:
AfrikaansShow more Afrikaans, letter. See also briefie.
historical
Any of several types of (official) letter or note, including a letter of credit, or a pass; briefie sense 1. See also slagter’s brief (slagter sense b).
1849 N.J. Merriman Cape Jrnls (1957) 69He..took me to an aged Boer, who..simply asked where is ‘de brief’ (the letter), on presenting which, he perused it and said — It was right and I might stop.
1909 Lady S. Wilson S. Afr. Mem. 107The inhabitants..have to put all their stores at the disposal of the burghers..The owners only received a ‘brief’ or note of credit on the Transvaal Government at Pretoria, to be paid after the war.
1945 N. Devitt People & Places 139A ‘commandeer brief’ was a document setting out the names and addresses of burghers to be called up for active service or containing a list of supplies, animals or transport to be requisitioned.
1974 P. Gibbs Hist. of BSAP II. 92A curfew operated in the towns and no native was allowed abroad after 9 pm unless he had a ‘brief’, written hurriedly by his employer usually on an odd scrap of paper, authorizing him to be away from his quarters.
Any of several types of (official) letter or note, including a letter of credit, or a pass; briefie1.
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18491974