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

Origin of paraphrase

1540–50; < Middle French < Latin paraphrasis < Greek paráphrasis. See para-1, phrase
Related formspar·a·phras·a·ble, adjectivepar·a·phras·er, nounmis·par·a·phrase, verb, mis·par·a·phrased, mis·par·a·phras·ing.un·par·a·phrased, adjective

Synonyms for paraphrase

See more synonyms for on
1. See translation. 3. summarize; explain. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for paraphraser

Historical Examples of paraphraser

  • Emerson assumes that the reader is alert and knowing; the paraphraser, that he is a little inattentive and a little dull.

  • Madame Tastu was also a translator, or rather a paraphraser, and an author of original poems of a sentimental kind.

  • The paraphraser is now forced to appeal to a public intellectually lower than that he formerly addressed.

  • Mrs. Wister is an excellent example of what might more correctly be called a “paraphraser” than a “translator.”

British Dictionary definitions for paraphraser


  1. an expression of a statement or text in other words, esp in order to clarify
  2. the practice of making paraphrases
  1. to put (something) into other words; restate (something)
Derived Formsparaphrastic (ˌpærəˈfræstɪk), 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 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for paraphraser



c.1600, from paraphrase (n.) or from French paraphraser. Related: Paraphrased; paraphrasing.



1540s, from Middle French paraphrase (1520s), from Latin paraphrasis "a paraphrase," from Greek paraphrasis "a free rendering," from paraphrazein "to tell in other words," from para- "beside" (see para- (1)) + phrazein "to tell" (see phrase (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

paraphraser in Culture


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 © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.