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.

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.

Matched Categories

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, phaser, seraph, shaper, sharpe, Sherpa, sherpa, sphear

  2. Sherpa

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. Jay Harris:

    Think about that phrase, 'As cool as the other side of the pillow.' It's a hot, stifling night. You're having trouble sleeping. But then you think to turn the pillow over, and, Wow, it's cool, and it feels so good, well, that's who Stuart is. He is 'the other side of pillow,' the man who made sportscasting cool. God bless whoever it was who thought to rearrange the bedding at ESPN.

  2. Kevin Caves:

    [Larry] was an anchor, so he has catchphrases— and [saying,] ‘I love you’ to his family, and calling his dog, talking to his grandkids— these are audio clips that can then be put into a commercially available communication device, so when he hits the button to choose the phrase, it will play the phrase versus text to speech, a number of people who did this wait too long.

  3. The Post:

    To continue to hawk products emblazoned with this vile phrase puts the lives of Police Officers, and all law enforcement nationwide, at peril and risk.

  4. C. P. Snow:

    The pursuit of happiness is a most ridiculous phrase if you pursue happiness you'll never find it.

  5. Greg Fleming:

    There's a lot of momentum in the U.S. economy and animal spirits – that wonderful phrase – seem to be kicking in, from my vantage point, yes, I do think they'll go in September.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for phrase

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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be similar, be in line with
  • A. conform
  • B. acclaim
  • C. refine
  • D. adventure

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