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See more synonyms for paraphrase on Thesaurus.com
  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.
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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.
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verb (used without object), par·a·phrased, par·a·phras·ing.
  1. to make a paraphrase or paraphrases.
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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

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

Related Words for paraphraser

scholar, artist, writer, philosopher, linguist, commentator, exponent, editor, spokesperson, professor, guide, critic, speaker, delegate, reviewer, analyst, expositor, decoder, exegete, biographer

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.

    A History of American Literature

    Percy H. Boynton

  • 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
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  1. to put (something) into other words; restate (something)
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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.

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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.)).

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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.

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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.