- a sequence of two or more words arranged in a grammatical construction and acting as a unit in a sentence.
- (in English) a sequence of two or more words that does not contain a finite verb and its subject or that does not consist of clause elements such as subject, verb, object, or complement, as a preposition and a noun or pronoun, an adjective and noun, or an adverb and verb.
verb (used with object), phrased, phras·ing.
- to mark off or bring out the phrases of (a piece), especially in execution.
- to group (notes) into a phrase.
verb (used without object), phrased, phras·ing.
Origin of phrase
Synonyms for phrase
Word Origin for phrase
1520s, "manner or style of expression," also "group of words with some unity," from Late Latin phrasis "diction," from Greek phrasis "speech, way of speaking, enunciation, phraseology," from phrazein "to express, tell," from phrazesthai "to consider," from PIE *gwhren- "to think" (see frenetic). The musical sense of "short passage" is from 1789.
"to put into a phrase," 1560s; see phrase (n.). Related: Phrased; phrasing.