• WordNet 3.6
    • n breviary (Roman Catholic Church) a book of prayers to be recited daily certain priests and members of religious orders
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Breviary 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.
    • Breviary An abridgment; a compend; an epitome; a brief account or summary. "A book entitled the abridgment or breviary of those roots that are to be cut up or gathered."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n breviary An abridgment; a compend; an epitome.
    • n breviary In the Roman Catholic Church, a book containing the daily offices which all who are in major orders are bound to read. It consists of prayers or offices to be used at the canonical hours, and is an abridgment of the services of the early church, which from their great length were exhausting. It is made up largely of the Psalms, passages of the Old and New Testaments and the fathers, hymns, anthems, etc., all in Latin, arranged for the various seasons and festivals of the church. A similar book, known as a portiforium or portass, was in use in England before the Reformation. The Order for Morning and Evening Prayer in the English Book of Common Prayer is mainly a translation and condensation from the breviary according to the use of Sarum. Besides the Roman breviary, which is in most common use, there are also others of various arrangement, either of certain religious orders or local, often of historical interest.
    • n breviary A name given to similar compilations used in the Greek and Oriental churches.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Breviary brēv′i-ar-i book containing the daily service of the R.C. Church.
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. bréviarie, L. breviarium, summary, abridgment, neut. noun fr. breviarius, abridged, fr. brevis, short. See Brief, and cf. Brevier
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. bréviaire—L. brevis, short.


In literature:

"Historical Sketches, Volume I (of 3)" by John Henry Newman
I found him in the billiard-room, walking up and down alone, and reading his breviary.
"The Galaxy" by Various
And where the old well-thumbed breviary from which he is inseparable?
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 98, 19 April 1890" by Various
Books, the Church's, 21 Breviary, 44.
"The Church: Her Books and Her Sacraments" by E. E. Holmes
The volume is a perfect breviary of selfishness.
"Ivory Apes and Peacocks" by James Huneker
In 1831 the Roman Breviary was not to be bought in Paris.
"The History of Freedom" by John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton
Why should his brother write such words in the breviary of Dona Sodina?
"Orientations" by William Somerset Maugham
None was by except Sir Oliver, and he sat discreetly backward, thumbing and muttering over his breviary.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 8 (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson
His hands mechanically held his breviary; his lips mechanically repeated a Latin formula of prayer.
"A House-Party" by Ouida
When he rose in the morning he prayed from his breviary, and he attended mass every day with fervent devotion.
"The Memoirs of the Conquistador Bernal Diaz del Castillo, Vol 2 (of 2)" by Bernal Diaz del Castillo
While we were reciting the Breviary in our tent, Samdadchiemba went to pay a visit to these Mongols.
"Travels in Tartary, Thibet, and China During the years 1844-5-6. Volume 1 [of 2]" by Evariste Regis Huc
They took their breviary, sat down upon the deck and said their prayers.
"Villa Eden:" by Berthold Auerbach
None was by except Sir Oliver, and he sat discreetly backward, thumbing and muttering over his breviary.
"The Black Arrow" by Robert Louis Stevenson
It is our very breviary.
"A Short History of French Literature" by George Saintsbury
Not the breviary, but the implement of the Maestro is surrounded by the roses of love.
"Klytia" by George Taylor
Although Bishop and Cardinal, his sole possession on his death-bed was his breviary.
"Saint Bonaventure" by Rev. Fr. Laurence Costelloe, O.F.M.
Brother Severinus stood near the door, reading his breviary.
"Barbarossa; An Historical Novel of the XII Century." by Conrad von Bolanden
An example of this early and more elaborate use survived in the Breviary in the treatment of the Venite as an Invitatory Psalm.
"The Christian Use of the Psalter" by A. R. Whitham
Is adoration of pretty little Conchas set down in black and red in your breviaries?
"The Firebrand" by S. R. Crockett
In his hand he held a breviary.
"Glories of Spain" by Charles W. Wood

In poetry:

There are prayers in't, 'tis what we call
A breviary. This, thought I, may yet serve
Some Christian man--not me indeed, for I
Can't read.
"Nathan The Wise - Act IV" by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
I see the ordered sitting-room he'll never enter more,
The ivory bead-crowned crucifix, the font behind the door,
The parish books, the registers and, handy where he sat,
The well-thumbed breviary that warmed the heart of Father Pat.
"Vale` - Father Pat" by John O Brien

In news:

Called "the breviary of the decadence " by the critic Arthur Symons, the book—and its influence on "The Picture of Dorian Gray"—featured prominently in the trials of Oscar Wilde.