Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Ecclesiastical A book containing the hymns, offices, and prayers for the canonical hours.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A book containing prayers, hymns, and so on for everyday use at the canonical hours.
  • n. A brief statement or summary.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An abridgment; a compend; an epitome; a brief account or summary.
  • n. A book containing the daily public or canonical prayers of the Roman Catholic or of the Greek Church for the seven canonical hours, namely, matins and lauds, the first, third, sixth, and ninth hours, vespers, and compline; -- distinguished from the missal.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An abridgment; a compend; an epitome.
  • n. In the Roman Catholic Church, a book containing the daily offices which all who are in major orders are bound to read.
  • n. A name given to similar compilations used in the Greek and Oriental churches.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (Roman Catholic Church) a book of prayers to be recited daily certain priests and members of religious orders

Etymologies

Middle English breviarie, from Old French breviaire, from Medieval Latin breviārium, from Latin, summary, from brevis, short; see brief.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin breviārium ("summary") (compare abbreviation), ultimately from brevis ("short"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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