What does phrase mean?

Definitions for phrase

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word phrase.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. phrasenoun

    an expression consisting of one or more words forming a grammatical constituent of a sentence

  2. phrase, musical phrasenoun

    a short musical passage

  3. idiom, idiomatic expression, phrasal idiom, set phrase, phrasenoun

    an expression whose meanings cannot be inferred from the meanings of the words that make it up

  4. phraseverb

    dance movements that are linked in a single choreographic sequence

  5. give voice, formulate, word, phrase, articulateverb

    put into words or an expression

    "He formulated his concerns to the board of trustees"

  6. phraseverb

    divide, combine, or mark into phrases

    "phrase a musical passage"


  1. phrasenoun

    A short written or spoken expression.

  2. phrasenoun

    A word or group of words that functions as a single unit in the syntax of a sentence, usually consisting of a head, or central word, and elaborating words.

  3. phrasenoun

    A small section of music in a larger piece.

  4. phraseverb

    To perform a passage with the correct phrasing.

  5. phraseverb

    To express (an action, thought or idea) by means of words.

  6. phraseverb

    To divide into melodic phrases.

  7. Etymology: From phrasis, from φράσις, from φράζω.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Phrasenoun

    Etymology: φϱάσις.

    Now mince the sin,
    And mollify damnation with a phrase:
    Say you consented not to Sancho’s death,
    But barely not forbad it. Dryden.

    To fear the Lord, and depart from evil, are phrases which the scripture useth to express the sum of religion. John Tillotson.

    Thou speak’st
    In better phrase and matter than thou didst. William Shakespeare.

  2. To Phraseverb

    To stile; to call; to term.

    Etymology: from the noun.

    These suns,
    For so they phrase them, by their heralds challenged
    The noble spirits to arms. William Shakespeare, Henry VIII.


  1. Phrase

    In syntax and grammar, a phrase is a group of words which act together as a grammatical unit. For instance, the English expression "the very happy squirrel" is a noun phrase which contains the adjective phrase "very happy". Phrases can consist of a single word or a complete sentence. In theoretical linguistics, phrases are often analyzed as units of syntactic structure such as a constituent.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Phrasenoun

    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 phrase

  2. Phrasenoun

    a short, pithy expression; especially, one which is often employed; a peculiar or idiomatic turn of speech; as, to err is human

  3. Phrasenoun

    a mode or form of speech; the manner or style in which any one expreses himself; diction; expression

  4. Phrasenoun

    a short clause or portion of a period

  5. Phraseverb

    to express in words, or in peculiar words; to call; to style

  6. Phraseverb

    to use proper or fine phrases

  7. Phraseverb

    to group notes into phrases; as, he phrases well. See Phrase, n., 4

  8. Etymology: [F., fr. L. phrasis diction, phraseology, Gr. , fr. to speak.]


  1. Phrase

    In everyday speech, a phrase may refer to any group of words. In linguistics, a phrase is a group of words that form a constituent and so function as a single unit in the syntax of a sentence. A phrase is lower on the grammatical hierarchy than a clause.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Phrase

    frāz, n. two or more words expressing a single idea by themselves, or showing the manner or style in which a person expresses himself: part of a sentence: a short pithy expression: phraseology: (mus.) a short clause or portion of a sentence.—v.t. to express in words: to style.—n. Phrase′-book, a book containing or explaining phrases.—adj. Phrase′less, incapable of being described.—ns. Phrase′-man, Phrase′-mong′er, a wordy speaker or writer; Phrā′seogram, Phrā′seograph, a combination of shorthand characters to represent a phrase or sentence.—adjs. Phraseolog′ic, -al, pertaining to phraseology: consisting of phrases.—adv. Phraseolog′ically.—ns. Phraseol′ogist, a maker or a collector of phrases; Phrāseol′ogy, style or manner of expression or arrangement of phrases: peculiarities of diction: a collection of phrases in a language; Phrā′ser, a mere maker or repeater of phrases.—adj. Phrā′sical.—n. Phrā′sing, the wording of a speech or passage: (mus.) the grouping and accentuation of the sounds in a melody. [Fr.,—L.,—Gr. phrasisphrazein, to speak.]

Editors Contribution

  1. phrase

    An expression of words.

    There are many phrases we use daily like - unity and teamwork makes the plan work.......

    Submitted by MaryC on March 15, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. phrase

    Song lyrics by phrase -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by phrase on the Lyrics.com website.

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British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'phrase' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3359

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'phrase' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2607

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'phrase' in Nouns Frequency: #1054

Anagrams for phrase »

  1. pasher

  2. phaser

  3. seraph

  4. shaper

  5. sharpe

  6. Sherpa

  7. sherpa

  8. sphear

How to pronounce phrase?

How to say phrase in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of phrase in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of phrase in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of phrase in a Sentence

  1. Barack Obama:

    I think everybody understands all lives matter. I think the reason that the organizers used the phrase 'Black Lives Matter' was not because they were suggesting nobody else's lives matter, rather, what they were suggesting was there is a specific problem that's happening in the African-American community that's not happening in other communities ... and that is a legitimate issue that we've got to address.

  2. James Clapper:

    This behavior and this divisiveness, intellectual and moral and ethical void that the president of the United States exhibits, and how much longer does the country — to borrow a phrase — endure this nightmare ? Trump’s remarks in Phoenix were reminiscent of candidate-Trump on the campaign trail, slamming the media over its coverage of his presidency — specifically noting his response to recent violence in Charlottesville, Va.

  3. John Kilduff:

    Given the volatility around the U.S.-China trade saga, it's hard to be short over the weekend, the turn of a phrase could restore the very hopes that were dashed just last night over a deal being struck.

  4. John McManus:

    I can't help but use the phrase overused for forestry ... they've paved paradise.

  5. Jeb Bush:

    When you repeat something over and over again, that's basically a canned phrase and it validates a belief you're not ready to be president.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for phrase

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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1 Comment
  • Patty Klemenko Williams
    Patty Klemenko Williams
    what does pete up or get beat up mean
    LikeReplyReport6 years ago


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a disposition that is confused or nervous and upset
  • A. fluster
  • B. gloat
  • C. exacerbate
  • D. abet

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