Rhetoric. a word or group of spoken words that the mind focuses on momentarily as a meaningful unit and is preceded and followed by pauses.
a characteristic, current, or proverbial expression:
a hackneyed phrase.
Music. a division of a composition, commonly a passage of four or eight measures, forming part of a period.
a way of speaking, mode of expression, or phraseology:
a book written in the phrase of the West.
a brief utterance or remark:
In a phrase, he’s a dishonest man.
Dance. a sequence of motions making up part of a choreographic pattern.
verb (used with object), phrased, phrasing.
to express or word in a particular way:
to phrase an apology well.
to express in words:
to phrase one’s thoughts.
verb (used without object), phrased, phrasing.
Music. to perform a passage or piece with proper phrasing.
a group of words forming an immediate syntactic constituent of a clause Compare clause (sense 1), noun phrase, verb phrase
a particular expression, esp an original one
(music) a small group of notes forming a coherent unit of melody
(in choreography) a short sequence of dance movements
(music) to divide (a melodic line, part, etc) into musical phrases, esp in performance
to express orally or in a phrase
1520s, “manner or style of expression,” also “group of words with some unity,” from Late Latin phrasis “diction,” from Greek phrasis “speech, way of speaking, enunciation, phraseology,” from phrazein “to express, tell,” from phrazesthai “to consider,” from PIE *gwhren- “to think” (see frenetic). The musical sense of “short passage” is from 1789.
“to put into a phrase,” 1560s; see phrase (n.). Related: Phrased; phrasing.
A group of grammatically connected words within a sentence: “One council member left in a huff”; “She got much satisfaction from planting daffodil bulbs.” Unlike clauses, phrases do not have both a subject and a predicate.
noun, Linguistics. 1. the hierarchical arrangement of the constituent words and phrases of a sentence.
- Phrase-structure grammar
[freyz-struhk-cher] /ˈfreɪzˌstrʌk tʃər/ noun, Linguistics. 1. a grammar that consists of phrase-structure rules. noun 1. a grammar in which relations among the words and morphemes of a sentence are described, but not deeper or semantic relations PSG Compare transformational grammar
- Phrase-structure rule
noun, Linguistics. 1. a rule that generates a sentence or other syntactic construction from words and phrases and identifies its constituent structure. noun 1. (generative grammar) a rule of the form A → X where A is a syntactic category label, such as noun phrase or sentence, and X is a sequence of such labels […]
noun 1. Linguistics. a structural representation of a sentence in the form of an inverted tree, with each node of the tree labeled according to the phrasal constituent it represents.