American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A word-for-word translation.
- v. To translate, especially literally.
- v. To manipulate the wording of (a text), especially as a means of subtly altering the sense.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A translation; specifically, a verbal translation; a close version or translation from one language into another: opposed to paraphrase.
- n. A responding phrase; a repartee.
- To translate literally; turn into exactly corresponding words: as, to metaphrase Latin poetry.
- n. a literal, word-for-word translation.
- n. An answering phrase; repartee.
- v. to make such a literal translation.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A verbal translation; a version or translation from one language into another, word for word; a literal translation; -- opposed to
- n. An answering phrase; repartee.
- From Ancient Greek μεταφράζομαι (metaphrazomai, "consider after") (Wiktionary)
- New Latin metaphrasis, from Greek, translation, paraphrase, from metaphrazein, to translate : meta-, meta- + phrazein, to tell, show. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“But most men, little recking what a small portion of the original they were reading, satisfied themselves with the Anglo French epitome and metaphrase.”
“Sustaining these views by a few footnotes, I add (1) a literal rendering of my own, and then (2) a metaphrase of the same, bringing out the argument from the crabbed obstructions of the Latin text.”
“Ben Jonson, whose translation of Horace's _Art of Poetry_ is cited by Dryden as an example of "metaphrase, or turning an author word by word and line by line from one language to another,"  is perhaps largely responsible for the mistaken impression regarding the earlier translators.”
“Already in the third century, St. Gregory Thaumaturgus, in his metaphrase, then Gregory of Nyssa, in eight homilies, later Hugh of St. Victor, in nineteen homilies, set forth the wisdom of Qoheleth as truly celestial and Divine.”
“The way I have taken is not so strait as metaphrase, nor so loose as paraphrase: some things too I have omitted, and sometimes have added of my own.”
“His general theory may be stated as an aim at something between the literalness of metaphrase and the looseness of paraphase.”
“I have preferred the natural order, free, and familiar style, to the artificial order, grave, solemn, and antiquated style; and in so doing, I have had occasion to have reference to the vocal metaphrase of some words.”
“England, at least to defend its liberties; to improve burlesque into satire; to free translation from the fetters of verbal metaphrase, and exclude it from the licence of paraphrase; to teach posterity the powerful and varied poetical harmony of which their language was capable; to give an example of the lyric ode of unapproached excellence; and to leave to English literature a name, second only to those of”
“Translation, therefore," says Dryden, "is not so loose as paraphrase, nor so close as metaphrase.”
“(Sometimes you’ll hear this kind of not-quite-translation of verse called “metaphrase,” though “metaphrase” can also, in discussions of prose, refer to a very literal translation, as opposed to paraphrase.)”
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