View synonyms for phrase


[ freyz ]


  1. Grammar.
    1. a sequence of two or more words arranged in a grammatical construction and acting as a unit in a sentence.
    2. (in English) a sequence of two or more words that does not contain a finite verb and its subject or that does not consist of clause elements such as subject, verb, object, or complement, as a preposition and a noun or pronoun, an adjective and noun, or an adverb and verb.
  2. Rhetoric. a word or group of spoken words that the mind focuses on momentarily as a meaningful unit and is preceded and followed by pauses.
  3. a characteristic, current, or proverbial expression:

    a hackneyed phrase.

  4. Music. a division of a composition, commonly a passage of four or eight measures, forming part of a period.
  5. a way of speaking, mode of expression, or phraseology:

    a book written in the phrase of the West.

  6. a brief utterance or remark:

    In a phrase, he's a dishonest man.

  7. Dance. a sequence of motions making up part of a choreographic pattern.

verb (used with object)

, phrased, phras·ing.
  1. to express or word in a particular way:

    to phrase an apology well.

  2. to express in words:

    to phrase one's thoughts.

  3. Music.
    1. to mark off or bring out the phrases of (a piece), especially in execution.
    2. to group (notes) into a phrase.

verb (used without object)

, phrased, phras·ing.
  1. Music. to perform a passage or piece with proper phrasing.


/ freɪz /


  1. a group of words forming an immediate syntactic constituent of a clause Compare clause noun phrase verb phrase
  2. a particular expression, esp an original one
  3. music a small group of notes forming a coherent unit of melody
  4. (in choreography) a short sequence of dance movements
“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


  1. music to divide (a melodic line, part, etc) into musical phrases, esp in performance
  2. to express orally or in a phrase
“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


  1. A group of grammatically connected words within a sentence: “ One council member left in a huff ”; “She got much satisfaction from planting daffodil bulbs .” Unlike clauses , phrases do not have both a subject and a predicate .

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Other Words From

  • mis·phrase verb (used with object) misphrased misphrasing
  • un·phrased adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of phrase1

First recorded in 1520–30; (noun) back formation from phrases, plural of earlier phrasis, from Latin phrasis “diction, style” (plural phrasēs ), from Greek phrásis “diction, style, speech,” equivalent to phrá(zein) “to speak” + -sis -sis; (verb) derivative of the noun
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Word History and Origins

Origin of phrase1

C16: from Latin phrasis, from Greek: speech, from phrazein to declare, tell
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Synonym Study

Phrase, expression, idiom, locution all refer to grammatically related groups of words. A phrase is a sequence of two or more words that make up a grammatical construction, usually lacking a finite verb and hence not a complete clause or sentence: shady lane (a noun phrase); at the bottom (a prepositional phrase); very slowly (an adverbial phrase). In general use, phrase refers to any frequently repeated or memorable group of words, usually of less than sentence length or complexity: a case of feast or famine—to use the well-known phrase. Expression is the most general of these words and may refer to a word, a phrase, or even a sentence: prose filled with old-fashioned expressions. An idiom is a phrase or larger unit of expression that is peculiar to a single language or a variety of a language and whose meaning, often figurative, cannot easily be understood by combining the usual meanings of its individual parts, as to go for broke. Locution is a somewhat formal term for a word, a phrase, or an expression considered as peculiar to or characteristic of a regional or social dialect or considered as a sample of language rather than as a meaning-bearing item: a unique set of locutions heard only in the mountainous regions of the South.
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Example Sentences

In addition, if your website is an information resource, you are trying to capture lots of search phrases and not heavily relying on just a few that might be struck by an algorithm.

Aside from Alexa tech, Buick’s campaign includes a custom Alexa “utterance,” a phrase that lets people ask about the manufacturer’s vehicle from any device.

From Digiday

As far as I understand, recent work on Pirahã shows that you have this ability to stack noun phrases at the start of the sentence to mark them as the topic of the conversation.

For instance, researchers have shown that certain common phrases can activate voice assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri, creating potential privacy problems.

From Fortune

The good news is that you can use plenty of online tools to search for relevant phrases and add them to your content.

This same outlet worked the phrase “engagement to toyboy lover” into the headline of their article on Fry.

In 2007, Huckabee said he stood by these earlier remarks, but would phrase them differently.

I admit, I chuckled when I read the phrase “boomtown effects” in the New York report.

But the phrase “made it” does not properly describe Pomplamoose.

Interpreted more broadly, the phrase loses meaning: what constitutes the necessary threshold of realism?

No one ever argued with Levison; all understood that this particular phrase was final.

He was guilty of the weakness of taking refuge in what is called, I believe, in legal phrase, a side-issue.

It seeks the shortest phrase or sentence and adds successively all the modifiers, making no omissions.

Even if this colour scheme will not work, there is still a justification for the Asquithian phrase.

Here the “c” is hard and represents 7, and as the steamboat could easily outrun the “scow,” the phrase is easily remembered.





phrasal verbphrase book