1. 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.
Origin: It. & (in sense 2) LL. Breve, fr. L. Brevis short. See Brief.
(01 Mar 1998)
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