phrase


phrase
/frayz/, n., v., phrased, phrasing.
n.
1. Gram.
a. a sequence of two or more words arranged in a grammatical construction and acting as a unit in a sentence.
b. (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. Rhet. 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. Dancing. a sequence of motions making up part of a choreographic pattern.
v.t.
8. to express or word in a particular way: to phrase an apology well.
9. to express in words: to phrase one's thoughts.
10. Music.
a. to mark off or bring out the phrases of (a piece), esp. in execution.
b. to group (notes) into a phrase.
v.i.
11. Music. to perform a passage or piece with proper phrasing.
[1520-30; (n.) back formation from phrases, pl. of earlier phrasis < L phrasis diction, style (pl. phrases) < Gk phrásis diction, style, speech, equiv. to phrá(zein) to speak + -sis -SIS; (v.) deriv. of the n.]
Syn. 1. 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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Universalium. 2010.

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  • phrase — [ fraz ] n. f. • 1546; lat. phrasis, mot gr. « élocution » 1 ♦ Vx Tour, expression. « Les synonymes sont plusieurs dictions [façons de dire] ou plusieurs phrases différentes qui signifient une même chose » (La Bruyère). 2 ♦ Mod., Plur. Faire des… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • phrasé — phrase [ fraz ] n. f. • 1546; lat. phrasis, mot gr. « élocution » 1 ♦ Vx Tour, expression. « Les synonymes sont plusieurs dictions [façons de dire] ou plusieurs phrases différentes qui signifient une même chose » (La Bruyère). 2 ♦ Mod., Plur.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • -phrase — ⇒ PHRASE, PHRASTIQUE, élém. formant Élém. entrant dans la constr. d un certain nombre de termes de ling. ou de rhét., qui peuvent générer des adj. dér. en phrastique. A. [Au sens anc. de phrase (v. ce mot I A) «expression, locution»]: métaphrase …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • phrase — phrase, idiom, expression, locution mean a group of words which, taken together, express a notion and may be used as a part of a sentence. Phrase may apply to a group of words which for one reason or another recurs frequently (as in the language… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Phrase — Phrase, n. [F., fr. L. phrasis diction, phraseology, Gr. ?, fr. ? to speak.] 1. A brief expression, sometimes a single word, but usually two or more words forming an expression by themselves, or being a portion of a sentence; as, an adverbial… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Phrasé — (solfège) Dans la musique occidentale, le phrasé indique la façon d exécuter les différentes phrases musicales. Des silences écrits séparent souvent les phrases successives, et même parfois, les divers motifs de chaque phrase, mais ce n est pas… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • phrase — PHRASE. s. f. Façon de parler, Assemblage de mots sous une certaine construction. Phrase ordinaire, populaire. phrase figurée, recherchée. bonne phrase. mauvaise phrase. phrase reguliere, irreguliere …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • phrasé — phrasé, ée (fra zé, zée) part. passé de phraser. 1°   Coupé par phrases. Style phrasé, bien phrasé. 2°   Se dit, dans un sens analogue, de la musique. •   On commence à sentir que le charme de l air, phrasé à l italienne, manque à la scène de l… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Phrase — Sf std. (16. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus l. phrasis rednerische Ausdrucksweise, Diktion, Stil , dieses aus gr. phrásis das Reden, Ausdrucksweise , zu gr. phrázein deutlich machen, kundtun, sagen, sprechen . Zunächst wertfrei Redewendung,… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Phrase — Phrase, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Phrased}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Phrasing}.] [Cf. F. phraser.] To express in words, or in peculiar words; to call; to style. These suns for so they phrase em. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Phrase — Phrase, v. i. 1. To use proper or fine phrases. [R.] [1913 Webster] 2. (Mus.) To group notes into phrases; as, he phrases well. See {Phrase}, n., 4. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


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