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Definitions

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

  • n. A word-for-word translation.
  • transitive v. To translate, especially literally.
  • transitive v. To manipulate the wording of (a text), especially as a means of subtly altering the sense.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a literal, word-for-word translation.
  • n. An answering phrase; repartee.
  • v. to make such a literal translation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A verbal translation; a version or translation from one language into another, word for word; a literal translation; -- opposed to paraphrase.
  • n. An answering phrase; repartee.

from The 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.

Etymologies

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)
From Ancient Greek μεταφράζομαι (metaphrazomai, "consider after") (Wiktionary)

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