Definitions

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

  • n. Vigor; vivacity: "She tells their story with brio and a mixture of sympathy and tart insight” ( Michiko Kakutani).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Vigour or vivacity.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Spirit, animation; especially, in music, in the expression con brio, spiritedly.

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

  • n. quality of being active or spirited or alive and vigorous

Etymologies

Italian, from Spanish brio or Provençal briu, both of Celtic origin; see gwerə-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Italian brio ("finesse, talent"), from Old Provençal briu ("wild"), from Gaulish *brīgos (compare Old Irish bríg ("pith, strength"), Welsh bri ("repute, respect")). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • What do you make of a guy who claims the Italian word 'brio' is no longer used in Italy but only in the English language?

    Epinions Recent Content for Home

  • “Santa Monica cocktail parties” gets the job done, but his usual brio is lacking, much like a worn-out band performing a medley of hit songs from 40 years ago.

    Matthew Yglesias » The Wages of Immigration

  • Paul Desenne, mixed Gallic suavity and Latin American brio for a chameleonic dash through various subdivisions of a nine-beat bar.

    NYT > Home Page

  • It's especially heartening to see 94-year-old Eli Wallach bring the same kind of brio to a small part here as he brought to

    NPR Topics: News

  • There's a certain chocolate factory in Fremont (we won't name names, but it rhymes with "brio") that gets all the press-it wholly deserves it, but that doesn't mean smaller-scale chocolatiers like Lee Johnson at Fiori Chocolates shouldn't get their moment in the sun.

    Seattle Weekly | Complete Issue

  • But Willis's easygoing, dancing phrasing warmed up the chamber-sized dimensions of the playing, and once the intonation settled, in time for the bewitching Siciliano of the E-major concerto (BWV 1053), the group began to exude more confidence, and the closing Allegro had a happy brio.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • The book is written with a cheerfully can-do brio and is full of fascinating calculations—he says that damming Canadian rivers and flooding 0.5% of its land surface, for instance, would provide hydro-power to meet all the world's electricity needs for a month.

    Post-Carbon America

  • Like the set, a backyard of sorts, a vision of a low rent tag sale, in front of an airstream marked Waterloo, strobe lights hanging off trees, sirens, and like the central character portrayed with great brio by Mr. Rylance, Jez Butterworth's brilliant play is a divine mess.

    Regina Weinreich: Jerusalem on Broadway: No Trip to the Holy Land

  • The consequence of such deviations is that there is little sense of the anger, brio and bravado of Marx and Engels; none of the humour, irony and creativity so central to the Marxian heritage.

    Why Marx Was Right by Terry Eagleton – review

  • All praise, then, to Chicago's TimeLine Theatre for resurrecting "The Front Page" and giving it a staging so full of brassy brio that you'll wonder why you ever settled for less.

    The Church on Catfish Row

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