Definition of breve in English:


Syllabification: breve
Pronunciation: /brēv, brev


1A musical note having the time value of two semibreves or whole notes.
More example sentences
  • The relationship between the semibreve and the minim is exactly the same as that accorded to the breve and semibreve.
  • This consists simply of four notes written out on a single stave in breves.
  • Semi means half, and although rare and rather ancient, the British system includes the breve in its logic.
2A written or printed mark (˘) indicating a short or unstressed vowel.
More example sentences
  • Other explanations of English verse use more convenient typography as substitutes for the acute accent and breve.
  • Accent caron, which should be used in pinyin instead of accent breve is not always supported.
  • The vowel letters that are used in conjunction with the breve symbol are replaced by compound vowel letters.
3 historical An authoritative letter from a pope or monarch.
More example sentences
  • The authority of the English crown in Ireland rested ultimately on the grant of the lordship in the alleged breve Laudibiliter.
  • In these cases the title of breve might be accompanied or replaced by that of notitia, or memoratorium.
  • The Jesuits took care to notify the general disregard for the papal breve.


Middle English: variant of brief. In the musical sense, the term was originally used in a series where a long was of greater time value than a breve.

Definition of breve in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day oleaginous
Pronunciation: ˌəʊlɪˈadʒɪnəs
rich in, covered with, or producing oil; oily