Breve (?), n. [It. & (in sense 2) LL. breve, fr. L. brevis short. See Brief.]

1. Mus.

A note or character of time, equivalent to two semibreves or four minims. When dotted, it is equal to three semibreves. It was formerly of a square figure (as thus: 𝅜), but is now made oval, with a line perpendicular to the staff on each of its sides; -- formerly much used for choir service.


2. Law

Any writ or precept under seal, issued out of any court.

3. Print.

A curved mark [˘] used commonly to indicate the short quantity of a vowel.

4. Zool.

The great ant thrush of Sumatra (Pitta gigas), which has a very short tail.


© Webster 1913.

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