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paraphrase

[par-uh-freyz] /ˈpær əˌfreɪz/
noun
1.
a restatement of a text or passage giving the meaning in another form, as for clearness; rewording.
2.
the act or process of restating or rewording.
verb (used with object), paraphrased, paraphrasing.
3.
to render the meaning of in a paraphrase:
to paraphrase a technical paper for lay readers.
verb (used without object), paraphrased, paraphrasing.
4.
to make a paraphrase or paraphrases.
Origin
1540-1550
1540-50; < Middle French < Latin paraphrasis < Greek paráphrasis. See para-1, phrase
Related forms
paraphrasable, adjective
paraphraser, noun
misparaphrase, verb, misparaphrased, misparaphrasing.
unparaphrased, adjective
Synonyms
1. See translation. 3. summarize; explain.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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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

paraphrase

/ˈpærəˌfreɪz/
noun
1.
an expression of a statement or text in other words, esp in order to clarify
2.
the practice of making paraphrases
verb
3.
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
n.

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.)).

v.

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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Encyclopedia Article for paraphrase

in music, the appropriation of a phrase, melody, section, or entire piece for use in another, favoured especially during the Renaissance for masses and motets as well as for keyboard works. The original melody is not generally used as it appeared in its original context but rather is altered by interpolating new notes, by changing the rhythm or the melodic contour, or by condensing or elaborating melodic passages. A paraphrased melody may appear in one voice part of the new composition, as in the motet Alma redemptoris mater (Beloved Mother of the Redeemer) by Guillaume Dufay, or in all voice parts through the technique of melodic imitation, as in the Missa pange lingua (mass on the plainsong hymn "Pange lingua" ["Sing, My Tongue"]) by Josquin des Prez.

Learn more about paraphrase with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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