Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun An abridgment; a compend; an epitome; a brief account or summary.
  • noun 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 Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English breviarie, from Old French breviaire, from Medieval Latin breviārium, from Latin, summary, from brevis, short; see brief.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin breviārium ("summary") (compare abbreviation), ultimately from brevis ("short").

Examples

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