[ par-uh-freyz ]
See synonyms for: paraphraseparaphrasedparaphrasingparaphraser 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

First recorded in 1540–50; from Middle French, from Latin paraphrasis, from Greek paráphrasis; para-1 + phrase

synonym study For paraphrase

1. See translation.

Other words for paraphrase

Other words from paraphrase

  • par·a·phras·a·ble, adjective
  • par·a·phras·er, noun
  • mis·par·a·phrase, verb, mis·par·a·phrased, mis·par·a·phras·ing.
  • un·par·a·phrased, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use paraphrase in a sentence

  • Of Cephus it might be said, paraphrasing the lines about little dog Rover, that when he was saved he was saved all over.

    Sundry Accounts | Irvin S. Cobb
  • Oscar was always fond of loosely quoting or paraphrasing in conversation the purple passages from contemporary writers.

  • It would be hopeless to attempt, by any paraphrasing whatever, to improve upon the freshness and vivacity of the author.

British Dictionary definitions for paraphrase


/ (ˈpærəˌfreɪz) /

  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)

Origin of paraphrase

C16: via French from Latin paraphrasis, from Greek, from paraphrazein to recount

Derived forms of paraphrase

  • paraphrastic (ˌpærəˈfræstɪk), adjective

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

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