From Late Latin phrasis (“diction”), from Ancient Greek φράσις (phrásis, “manner of expression”), from φράζω (phrázō, “I tell, express”).
phrase (plural phrases)
noun phrase: the big bird (head: bird)
- A short written or spoken expression.
- Hypernym: syntagma
- (grammar) A word or, more commonly, a group of words that functions as a single unit in the syntax of a sentence, usually consisting of a head, or central word, and elaborating words.
- 2013 November 30, Paul Davis, “Letters: Say it as simply as possible”, in The Economist, volume 409, number 8864:
- Congratulations on managing to use the phrase “preponderant criterion” in a chart (“On your marks”, November 9th). Was this the work of a kakorrhaphiophobic journalist set a challenge by his colleagues, or simply an example of glossolalia?
- (music) A small section of music in a larger piece.
- (archaic) A mode or form of speech; diction; expression.
- c. 1603–1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of King Lear”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene vi]:
- Thou speak'st / In better phrase and matter than thou didst.
- 1847, Alfred Tennyson, “Part II”, in The Princess: A Medley, London: Edward Moxon, […], →OCLC, page 39:
- […] From out a common vein of memory / Sweet household talk, and phrases of the hearth, […]
- (dance) A short individual motion forming part of a choreographed dance.
- (expression): figure of speech, locution
- See also Thesaurus:phrase
- adjective phrase
- adverb phrase
- adverbial phrase
- antecedent phrase
- bombard phrase
- catch phrase
- consequent phrase
- determiner phrase
- empty phrase
- noun phrase
- participial phrase
- phrase book
- phrase structure
- prepositional phrase
- set phrase
- signature phrase
- turn a phrase
- verb phrase
short written or spoken expression
grammar: group of two or more words that express an idea but do not form a complete sentence
music: small section of music in a larger piece
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
Translations to be checked
phrase (third-person singular simple present phrases, present participle phrasing, simple past and past participle phrased)
- (transitive) To express (an action, thought or idea) by means of particular words.
- I wasn't sure how to phrase my condolences without sounding patronising.
- 1613 (date written), William Shakespeare; [John Fletcher], “The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act I, scene i]:
- These suns — for so they phrase 'em.
- (intransitive, music) To perform a passage with the correct phrasing.
- (transitive, music) To divide into melodic phrases.
music: perform a passage with the correct phrasing
express by means of words
music: divide into melodic phrases
- phrase in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- phrase in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911
- phrase at OneLook Dictionary Search
From Latin phrasis (“diction”), from Ancient Greek φράσις (phrásis, “manner of expression”), from φράζω (phrázō, “I tell, express”).
phrase f (plural phrases)
- This is a false friend to English phrase.
- “phrase”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012.
phrase f (plural phrases)
- Obsolete spelling of frase (used in Portugal until September 1911 and in Brazil until the 1940s).