Origin of metaphrast

1600–10; Medieval Greek metaphrástēs one who translates, equivalent to *metaphrad-, base of metaphrázein to translate (see meta-, phrase) + -tēs agent suffix
Related formsmet·a·phras·tic, met·a·phras·ti·cal, adjectivemet·a·phras·ti·cal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for metaphrastic


  1. a person who metaphrases, esp one who changes the form of a text, as by rendering verse into prose
Derived Formsmetaphrastic or metaphrastical, adjectivemetaphrastically, adverb

Word Origin for metaphrast

C17: from Medieval Greek metaphrastēs translator
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for metaphrastic

1778, from Greek metaphrastikos "paraphrastic," from metaphrasis "paraphrase," from metaphrazein "to paraphrase, translate," from meta- (see meta-) + phrazein "to show, tell" (see phrase (n.)). Related: metaphrastically (1570s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper