Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A sequence of words intended to have meaning.
  • n. A characteristic way or mode of expression.
  • n. A brief, apt, and cogent expression.
  • n. A word or group of words read or spoken as a unit and separated by pauses or other junctures.
  • n. Grammar Two or more words in sequence that form a syntactic unit that is less than a complete sentence.
  • n. Music A short passage or segment, often consisting of four measures or forming part of a larger unit.
  • n. A series of dance movements forming a unit in a choreographic pattern.
  • transitive v. To express orally or in writing: The speaker phrased several opinions.
  • transitive v. To pace or mark off (something read aloud or spoken) by pauses.
  • transitive v. Music To divide (a passage) into phrases.
  • transitive v. Music To combine (notes) in a phrase.
  • intransitive v. To make or render phrases, as in reading aloud.
  • intransitive v. Music To perform a passage with the correct phrasing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A short written or spoken expression.
  • n. A word or 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.
  • n. A small section of music in a larger piece.
  • v. (music) To perform a passage with the correct phrasing.
  • v. To express (an action, thought or idea) by means of words.
  • v. (music) To divide into melodic phrases.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A brief expression, sometimes a single word, but usually two or more words forming an expression by themselves, or being a portion of a sentence.
  • n. A short, pithy expression; especially, one which is often employed; a peculiar or idiomatic turn of speech.
  • n. A mode or form of speech; the manner or style in which any one expreses himself; diction; expression.
  • n. A short clause or portion of a period.
  • intransitive v. To use proper or fine phrases.
  • intransitive v. To group notes into phrases. See Phrase, n., 4.
  • transitive v. To express in words, or in peculiar words; to call; to style.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To employ peculiar phrases or forms of speech; ex press one's self.
  • In music, to divide a piece in performance into short sections or phrases, so as to bring out the metrical and harmonic form of the whole, and make it musically intelligible; also, to perform any group of tones without pause.
  • To express or designate by a particular phrase or term; call; style.
  • n. A brief expression; more specifically, two or more words expressing what is practically a single notion, and thus performing the office of a single part of speech, or entering with a certain degree of unity into the structure of a sentence.
  • n. A peculiar or characteristic expression; a mode of expression peculiar to a language; an idiom.
  • n. The manner or style in which a person ex presses himself; diction; phraseology; language; also, an expression, or a form of expression.
  • n. In music, a short and somewhat independent division or part of a piece, less complete than a period, and usually closing with a cadence or a half-cadence.
  • n. In fencing, a period between the beginning and end of a short passage at arms between fencers during which there is no pause, each fencer thrusting and parrying in turn
  • n. See the adjectives.
  • n. Synonyms See term.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. dance movements that are linked in a single choreographic sequence
  • n. an expression consisting of one or more words forming a grammatical constituent of a sentence
  • n. an expression whose meanings cannot be inferred from the meanings of the words that make it up
  • v. put into words or an expression
  • v. divide, combine, or mark into phrases
  • n. a short musical passage

Etymologies

Latin phrasis, diction, from Greek, speech, diction, phrase, from phrazein, to point out, show; see gwhren- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Late Latin phrasis ("diction"), from Ancient Greek φράσις (phrasis, "manner of expression"), from φράζω (phrazō, "I tell, express"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.