Why was clemency trending last week?


[par-uh-freyz] /ˈpær əˌfreɪz/
a restatement of a text or passage giving the meaning in another form, as for clearness; rewording.
the act or process of restating or rewording.
verb (used with object), paraphrased, paraphrasing.
to render the meaning of in a paraphrase:
to paraphrase a technical paper for lay readers.
verb (used without object), paraphrased, paraphrasing.
to make a paraphrase or paraphrases.
Origin of paraphrase
1540-50; < Middle French < Latin paraphrasis < Greek paráphrasis. See para-1, phrase
Related forms
paraphrasable, adjective
paraphraser, noun
misparaphrase, verb, misparaphrased, misparaphrasing.
unparaphrased, adjective
1. See translation. 3. summarize; explain. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for paraphrase
  • If oppression is the system of rule, well, to paraphrase Gandhi better be oppressed by your own people than by others.
  • To paraphrase Freud, sometimes a car is just a car.
  • They're all run by -- to paraphrase Alsop delicately -- complete jerks.
  • To paraphrase an earlier 1955 picture and a television series that began in 1967, love is indeed a many-splendored thing.
  • To paraphrase, nothing about evolution depends on "random chance" as you imply.
  • They just churn out or paraphrase legal texts or legislation.
  • Too often, an intriguing scene concludes with a paraphrase, or begins with a rote set of character descriptions.
  • Tragedy, to paraphrase him, inevitably follows periods of isolation.
  • The paraphrase was imprecise.
  • Help students read the article about horseshoe crabs, or paraphrase the article for them.
British Dictionary definitions for paraphrase


an expression of a statement or text in other words, esp in order to clarify
the practice of making paraphrases
to put (something) into other words; restate (something)
Derived Forms
paraphrastic (ˌpærəˈfræstɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C16: via French from Latin paraphrasis, from Greek, from paraphrazein to recount
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for paraphrase

1540s, from Middle French paraphrase (1520s), from Latin paraphrasis "a paraphrase," from Greek paraphrasis "a free rendering," from paraphrazein "to tell in other words," from para- "beside" (see para- (1)) + phrazein "to tell" (see phrase (n.)).


c.1600, from paraphrase (n.) or from French paraphraser. Related: Paraphrased; paraphrasing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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paraphrase in Culture

paraphrase definition

A restatement of speech or writing that retains the basic meaning while changing the words. A paraphrase often clarifies the original statement by putting it into words that are more easily understood.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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