phrase ( phrases plural & 3rd person present) ( phrasing present participle) ( phrased past tense & past participle )
1 n-count A phrase is a short group of words that people often use as a way of saying something. The meaning of a phrase is often not obvious from the meaning of the individual words in it.
He used a phrase I hate: `You have to be cruel to be kind.'
2 n-count A phrase is a small group of words which forms a unit, either on its own or within a sentence.
It is impossible to hypnotise someone simply by saying a particular word or phrase.
3 verb If you phrase something in a particular way, you express it in words in that way.
I would have phrased it quite differently... V n adv
They phrased it as a question. V n as n
4 If someone has a particular turn of phrase, they have a particular way of expressing themselves in words.
turn of phrase phrase N inflects ...Schwarzkopf's distinctive turn of phrase. →
to coin a phrase →
catch-phrase ( catch-phrases plural ) , catch phrase A catch-phrase is a sentence or phrase which becomes popular or well-known, often because it is frequently used by a famous person. n-count
noun phrase ( noun phrases plural ) A noun phrase is the same as a noun group. n-count
phrase book ( phrase books plural ) A phrase book is a book used by people travelling to a foreign country. It has lists of useful words and expressions, together with the translation of each word or expression in the language of that country. n-count
We bought a Danish phrase book.
prepositional phrase ( prepositional phrases plural ) A prepositional phrase is a structure consisting of a preposition and its object. Examples are `on the table' and `by the sea'. n-count