periphrasis

[puh-rif-ruh-sis]
noun, plural periphrases [puh-rif-ruh-seez] .
1.
the use of an unnecessarily long or roundabout form of expression; circumlocution.
2.
an expression phrased in such fashion.
Also, periphrase [per-uh-freyz] .


Origin:
1525–35; < Latin < Greek períphrasis. See peri-, phrase, -sis

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World English Dictionary
periphrasis (pəˈrɪfrəsɪs)
 
n , pl -rases
1.  a roundabout way of expressing something; circumlocution
2.  an expression of this kind
 
[C16: via Latin from Greek, from peri- + phrazein to declare]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

periphrasis
1533, from L. periphrasis "circumlocution," from Gk. periphrasis, from periphrazein "speak in a roundabout way," from peri- "round about" + phrazein "to express."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

periphrasis

the use of a longer phrasing in place of a possible shorter form of expression; a roundabout or indirect manner of writing or speaking. In literature periphrasis is sometimes used for comic effect, as illustrated by Charles Dickens in the speech of the character Wilkins Micawber, who appears in David Copperfield:"Under the impression," said Mr. Micawber, "that your peregrinations in this metropolis have not as yet been extensive, and that you might have some difficulty in penetrating the arcana of the Modern Babylon in the direction of the City Road-in short," said Mr. Micawber, in another burst of confidence, "that you might lose yourself-I shall be happy to call this evening, and instal you in the knowledge of the nearest way."

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences for periphrasis
Other languages employ periphrasis, with idiomatic expressions or auxiliary verbs.
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