I've always been partial to organic interpretation/operation in literature and language. Much of my personal choice of use in words and phrases comes down to an intuitive stylistic bearing that determines whether a given word or phrase gels with the context.
I was writing and an alternative use of 'brief' came to mind. "To brief the bitter cold." Where the verb means, 'to make short or bearable'. Given that 'brief' already holds a few meanings in different parts of speech (from Google):
adjective: brief; comparative adjective: briefer; superlative adjective: briefest
1. of short duration.
noun: brief; plural noun: briefs
1. a concise statement or summary.
verb: brief; 3rd person present: briefs; past tense: briefed; past participle: briefed; gerund or present participle: briefing
1. instruct or inform (someone) thoroughly, especially in preparation for a task.
The common verb usage does not connect with the other two usages, other than the fact that "briefing" a person is typically done in a short time period.
The provided usage for 'brief', "to make shorter/more bearable", or perhaps a better definition that succeeds that, seems to describe an act for which I can't otherwise find a word. If anyone has an existing alternative, please do let me know.