Other forms: phrases; phrasing; phrased

The verb phrase means to articulate. You should be careful how you phrase your criticism of your boss. Saying he can be demanding is probably okay. Saying he is an ogre is probably not.

In grammar, a phrase is a group of words that is part of a sentence but can't stand alone. In the sentence, "We should go to your house," "to your house" is a phrase. A phrase can also be an idiomatic saying. If you told a foreign exchange student to "get off the fence" and pick a side in the debate, he might look puzzled at the phrase and say, "But I'm nowhere near a fence!"

Definitions of phrase
  1. noun
    an expression consisting of one or more words forming a grammatical constituent of a sentence
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    nominal, nominal phrase, noun phrase
    a phrase that can function as the subject or object of a verb
    predicate, verb phrase
    one of the two main constituents of a sentence; the predicate contains the verb and its complements
    prepositional phrase
    a phrase beginning with a preposition
    pronominal, pronominal phrase
    a phrase that functions as a pronoun
    a phrase recited or sung by the congregation following a versicle by the priest or minister
    catch phrase, catchphrase
    a phrase that has become a catchword
    type of:
    construction, expression, grammatical construction
    a group of words that form a constituent of a sentence and are considered as a single unit
  2. noun
    an expression whose meanings cannot be inferred from the meanings of the words that make it up
    synonyms: idiom, idiomatic expression, phrasal idiom, set phrase
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    ruralism, rusticism
    a rural idiom or expression
    type of:
    expression, locution, saying
    a word or phrase that particular people use in particular situations
  3. verb
    put into words or an expression
    synonyms: articulate, formulate, give voice, word
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    direct or put; seek an answer to
    lexicalise, lexicalize
    make or coin into a word or accept a new word into the lexicon of a language
    dogmatise, dogmatize
    state as a dogma
    formularise, formularize
    express as a formula
    cast, couch, frame, put, redact
    formulate in a particular style or language
    type of:
    evince, express, show
    give expression to
  4. noun
    a short musical passage
    synonyms: musical phrase
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    (music) a group of notes connected by a slur
    a musical phrase repeated over and over during a composition
    ground bass
    a short melody in the bass that is constantly repeated
    a jazz ostinato; usually provides a background for a solo improvisation
    type of:
    musical passage, passage
    a short section of a musical composition
  5. noun
    dance movements that are linked in a single choreographic sequence
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    type of:
    dance, dancing, saltation, terpsichore
    taking a series of rhythmical steps (and movements) in time to music
  6. verb
    divide, combine, or mark into phrases
    phrase a musical passage”
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    type of:
    arrange, order, put, set up
    arrange thoughts, ideas, or temporal events




DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘phrase'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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