Meaning of phrase

phrase

Pronunciation: (frāz), [key]
— n., v., phrased, phras•ing.
—n.
    1. a sequence of two or more words arranged in a grammatical construction and acting as a unit in a sentence.
    2. (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.
  1. a word or group of spoken words that the mind focuses on momentarily as a meaningful unit and is preceded and followed by pauses.
  2. a characteristic, current, or proverbial expression: a hackneyed phrase.
  3. a division of a composition, commonly a passage of four or eight measures, forming part of a period.
  4. a way of speaking, mode of expression, or phraseology: a book written in the phrase of the West.
  5. a brief utterance or remark: In a phrase, he's a dishonest man.
  6. a sequence of motions making up part of a choreographic pattern.
—v.t.
  1. to express or word in a particular way: to phrase an apology well.
  2. to express in words: to phrase one's thoughts.
    1. to mark off or bring out the phrases of (a piece), esp. in execution.
    2. to group (notes) into a phrase.
—v.i.
  1. to perform a passage or piece with proper phrasing.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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