paraphrase

[par-uh-freyz]
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noun
  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

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


Examples from the Web for paraphrasing

Contemporary Examples of paraphrasing

  • “We want bread and social justice,” she contends, paraphrasing the slogan of the revolt that toppled Mubarak.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Egypt: The Revolution’s Last Stand

    Jesse Rosenfeld

    March 23, 2014

  • (I'm paraphrasing here) Why would anyone need an assault-style rifle anyway?

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Newtown Heckling Controversy

    David Frum

    January 30, 2013

  • Paraphrasing LBJ, McCain said: “I just wish one of them had run for county sheriff.”

    The Daily Beast logo
    McCain's New Pal

    Howard Kurtz

    April 6, 2011

Historical Examples of paraphrasing

  • I am but paraphrasing what was said recently by an Oxford professor.

    Waiting for Daylight

    Henry Major Tomlinson

  • Paraphrasing is telling (speaking) the same thing in other words.

    Orthography

    Elmer W. Cavins

  • Paraphrasing the poet, “none knew him but to love him, none knew him but to praise.”

  • “The very best,” Dan declared, paraphrasing the book he had just been reading.

  • If we may take the liberty of paraphrasing the lines of the immortal bard.

    The Battle of The Press

    Theophila Carlile Campbell


British Dictionary definitions for paraphrasing

paraphrase

noun
  1. an expression of a statement or text in other words, esp in order to clarify
  2. the practice of making paraphrases
verb
  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 paraphrasing

paraphrase

v.

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

paraphrase

n.

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

paraphrasing in Culture

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.