Etymology
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phrase (n.)

1520s, "manner or style of expression," also "brief expression with some unity; two or more words expressing what is practically a single notion," from Late Latin phrasis "diction," from Greek phrasis "speech, way of speaking, enunciation, phraseology," from phrazein "to tell, declare, indicate, point out, show, inform," also passively (phrazomai), "indicate to oneself, think or muse upon, consider; think up, contrive; suppose, believe, imagine; perceive, observe."

The Greek verb is of uncertain origin; perhaps it is connected with phrenes "wits, senses, sanity," phrēn "the mind, the heart," literally "midriff, diaphragm" (see phreno-). The musical sense of "a short and somewhat independent passage from a piece" is from 1789. Phrase-book "collection of expressions peculiar to a language" is by 1590s.

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phrase (v.)

"to put into a phrase, express by a particular phrase," 1560s; see phrase (n.). Related: Phrased; phrasing.

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phrasing (n.)

"wording of a speech or passage," 1610s, verbal noun from phrase (v.).

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phrasal (adj.)

"of, pertaining to, or consisting of a phrase; consisting of two or more words," 1860; see phrase (n.) + -al (1). Related: Phrasally.

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rephrase (v.)

also re-phrase, "express in another way, change or adjust the wording of," 1872, from re- "again" + phrase (v.). Related: Rephrased; rephrasing.

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catchphrase (n.)

also catch-phrase, 1837, from catch (v.) + phrase (n.). The notion is of words that will "catch" in the mind (compare catchword; catchy).

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holophrastic (adj.)
"having the force of a whole phrase; expressive of a complex idea," 1837, from holo- "whole" + Latinized form of Greek phrastikos, from phrazein "to indicate, tell, express" (see phrase (n.)).
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phraseology (n.)

1550s, coined erroneously by German humanist Michael Neander in Greek as phraseologia (1550s), from Greek phrasis "way of speaking" (see phrase (n.)) + -logia (see -logy). The correct form would be *phrasiology. Originally "a phrase book, a collection of phrases or idioms," the meaning "way of arranging words, characteristic style of expression, form of words used in expressing some thought" is from 1660s. Related: Phraseological.

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paraphrase (n.)

"a restatement of a text or passage, giving the sense of the original in other words," often in fuller terms and greater detail, 1540s, from 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.)).

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metaphrastic (adj.)

"close or literal in translation," 1752, from Greek metaphrastikos "paraphrastic," from metaphrasis "paraphrase," from metaphrazein "to paraphrase, translate," from meta- "change" (see meta-) + phrazein "to tell, declare, point out, show" (see phrase (n.)). Metaphrasis as "a translation," especially one done word-by-word, is in English from 1560s. Related: Metaphrastical; metaphrastically (1570s).

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