Pronunciation: (brēv, brev), [key]
1. a mark (˘) over a vowel to show that it is short, or to indicate a specific pronunciation, as ŭ in (kŭt) cut.
2. Law.
a. an initial writ.
b. a writ, as one issued by a court of law.
3. Music.
a. the longest modern note, equivalent to two semibreves or whole notes. See illus. under note.
b. Also,brevis.a note in medieval mensural notation equal to one-half or one-third of a longa.
4. Pros.a mark (˘) over a syllable to show that it is not stressed.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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