1. a diacritical mark (U-shaped) placed over a vowel to indicate a short sound;
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Breve \Breve\ (br[=e]v), 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. --Moore.
2. (Law) Any writ or precept under seal, issued out of any
3. (Print.) A curved mark [[breve]] 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.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: a diacritical mark (U-shaped) placed over a vowel to
indicate a short sound
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
BREVE, practice. A writ in which the cause of action is briefly stated,
hence its name. Fleta, lib. 2, c. 13, Sec. 25; Co. Lit. 73 b.
2. Writs are distributed into several classes. Some are called brevia
formata, others brevia de cursu, brevia judicialia, or brevia magistralia.
There is a further distinction with respect to real actions into brevia
nominata and innominata. The former, says Bacon, contain the time, place and
demand very particularly; and therefore by such writ several lands by
several titles cannot be demanded by the same writ. The latter contain only
a general complaint, without expressing time, damages, &c., as in trespass
quare clausum fregit, &o., and therefore several lands coming to the
demandant by several titles may be demanded in such writ. F. N. B. 209; 8
Co. 87; Kielw. 105; Dy. 145; 2 Brownl. 274; Bac. Ab. Actions in General, C.
See Innominate contracts.