[ par-uh-freyz ]
/ 藞p忙r 蓹藢fre瑟z /
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See synonyms for: paraphrase / paraphrased / paraphrasing / paraphraser on Thesaurus.com

a restatement of a text or passage giving the meaning in another form, as for clearness; rewording.
the act or process of restating or rewording.
verb (used with object), par路a路phrased, par路a路phras路ing.
to render the meaning of in a paraphrase: to paraphrase a technical paper for lay readers.
verb (used without object), par路a路phrased, par路a路phras路ing.
to make a paraphrase or paraphrases.
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Origin of paraphrase

1540鈥50; from Middle French, from Latin paraphrasis, from Greek par谩phrasis. See para-1, phrase

synonym study for paraphrase

1. See translation.


par路a路phras路a路ble, adjectivepar路a路phras路er, nounmis路par路a路phrase, verb, mis路par路a路phrased, mis路par路a路phras路ing.un路par路a路phrased, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2023


What does paraphrase mean?

A paraphrase is a restatement of a text in your own words while giving credit to the person who originated the thought. For example, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, 鈥淭he only thing we have to fear is fear itself.鈥 You might paraphrase it in an essay by writing, 鈥淭o paraphrase FDR, we have nothing to be afraid of, and we can鈥檛 let fear hold us back.鈥

To paraphrase means to restate something in your own words. You might paraphrase complicated information in order to make it easier for your audience to understand. You also might paraphrase something when you can鈥檛 remember or can鈥檛 verify the exact wording. It鈥檚 important to remember that you still need to credit the originator of the statement you鈥檙e paraphrasing.

Example: If you cannot remember the exact quote, you can paraphrase with precise detail.

Where does paraphrase come from?

The first records of the term paraphrase come from the mid-1500s. It ultimately comes from the Greek par谩phrasis. Typically, the suffix para means 鈥渟ide by side,鈥 so a paraphrase is a 鈥渟ide by side phrase,鈥 or 鈥渁 phrase that means the same but looks or sounds different.鈥

Sometimes, people will paraphrase famous quotes, quotes from important figures, or quotes from research and change key parts of it or the overall wording to make the quote seem like it supports their claim when, in fact, it does not. For example, someone may paraphrase a quote from a research article but leave out certain details to make the research support their argument while the actual quote might not. When looking at an argument that uses a lot of paraphrases as evidence, it鈥檚 a good idea to find the original quotes to see if they truly support the argument.

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What are some other forms related to paraphrase?

  • paraphrasable (adjective)
  • paraphraser (noun)
  • misparaphrase (verb)
  • unparaphrased (adjective)

What are some synonyms for paraphrase?

What are some words that share a root or word element with paraphrase?聽

What are some words that often get used in discussing paraphrase?

How is paraphrase used in real life?

News, research, and academic writing often use paraphrasing to tell their stories.



Try using paraphrase!

True or False?

To paraphrase someone is to quote their words precisely.

How to use paraphrase in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for paraphrase

/ (藞p忙r蓹藢fre瑟z) /

an expression of a statement or text in other words, esp in order to clarify
the practice of making paraphrases
to put (something) into other words; restate (something)

Derived forms of paraphrase

paraphrastic (藢p忙r蓹藞fr忙st瑟k), adjective

Word Origin for paraphrase

C16: via French from Latin paraphrasis, from Greek, from paraphrazein to recount
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for paraphrase


A restatement of speech or writing that retains the basic meaning while changing the words. A paraphrase often clarifies the original statement by putting it into words that are more easily understood.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright 漏 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.