What does phrase mean?

Definitions for phrase

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage 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.


  1. phrase

    A phrase is a group of words that work together to convey a particular meaning, concept, or idea, but do not necessarily form a complete sentence on their own. It often lacks a subject, verb, or both in its structure. Examples of phrases include noun phrases, verb phrases, adverbial phrases, or prepositional phrases.

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

  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. Stendhal:

    I think no woman I have had ever gave me so sweet a moment, or at so light a price, as the moment I owe to a newly heard musical phrase.

  2. Aneurin Bevan:

    Now, the vicissitudes that afflict the individual have their source in society. It is this situation that has given currency to the phrase social forces. Personal relations have given way to impersonal ones. The Great Society has arrived and the task of our generation is to bring it under control. The study of how it is to be done is the function of politics.

  3. Judie Worrell:

    If I'm playing a horn arrangement on keyboard, or strings, it sounds like strings or horns, 'cause I know how to phrase it, how a string phrases, different attacks from the aperture for horns, trumpets, sax or trombones.

  4. Logan Pearsall Smith:

    What pursuit is more elegant than that of collecting the ignominies of our nature and transfixing them for show, each on the bright pin of a polished phrase?

  5. One Democratic state official:

    A lot of The Trump administration sounds very Pollyanna, because I hear the phrase' mass vaccination site,' and I think to myself, OK, what operating system are they using to register all these people ? it's all very pie-in-the-sky.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for phrase

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"phrase." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/phrase>.

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1 Comment
  • Patty Klemenko Williams
    Patty Klemenko Williams
    what does pete up or get beat up mean
    LikeReply7 years ago

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a partiality that prevents objective consideration of an issue or situation
A intelligence
B perusal
C model
D bias

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