from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Plural form of periphrase. circumlocutions.
  • n. Plural form of periphrasis. use of syntactic rather than morphological constructions.
  • v. Third-person singular simple present indicative form of periphrase.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • He that hath complex ideas without names for them, wants liberty and dispatch in his expressions, and is necessitated to use periphrases.

    An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

  • For the several fashions, customs, and manners of one nation, making several combinations of ideas familiar and necessary in one, which another people have had never an occasion to make, or perhaps so much as take notice of, names come of course to be annexed to them, to avoid long periphrases in things of daily conversation; and so they become so many distinct complex ideas in their minds.

    God, Aids & Circumcision

  • This feature of the song serves to explain its inordinate length, for a song may occupy the greater part of a night, apparently without tiring the audience by its verbose periphrases and its exuberant figures.

    The Manóbos of Mindanáo Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences, Volume XXIII, First Memoir

  • This unmanly dread of simplicity, and of what is called "tautology," gives rise to a patchwork made up of scraps of poetic quotations, unmeaning periphrases, and would-be humorous circumlocutions, -- a style of all styles perhaps the most objectionable and offensive, which may be known and avoided by the name of _Fine Writing_.

    How to Write Clearly Rules and Exercises on English Composition

  • Thus, if we are writing about Charles II., it would be in very bad taste to avoid repeating "he" by using such periphrases as the following: "The third of the Stewarts hated business," "the Merry Monarch died in the fifty-fourth year of his age," &c.

    How to Write Clearly Rules and Exercises on English Composition

  • Sylvia, receiving this into a sore and raw consciousness, said to herself with an embittered instinct for cynicism that she had never heard more euphonious periphrases for selling yourself for money.

    The Bent Twig

  • Maître Charmolue drew forth an appalling document, and commenced reading with much gesticulation and the exaggerated emphasis of the Bar a Latin oration, in which all the evidences of the trial were set out in Ciceronian periphrases, flanked by citations from Plautus.

    III. End of the Crown Piece Changed into a Withered Leaf. Book VIII

  • Why conceal his weaknesses in a cloud of periphrases?

    Criticisms and Interpretations. I. By William Makepeace Thackeray

  • In our own day the principle that the leaders should practice economic renunciation and should identify themselves with the multitude is advocated only by a few isolated romanticists who belong to the anarchist wing of the socialist movement, and even by them only in timid periphrases.

    Political Parties; a Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy

  • As referendaries (rapporteurs) and experts, intimately acquainted with all the hidden aspects of the subject under discussion, many of the deputies are adepts in the art of employing digressions, periphrases, and terminological subtleties, by means of which they surround the simplest matter with a maze of obscurity to which they alone have the clue.

    Political Parties; a Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy


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