- To paraphrase is to repeat a version of something, not the exact words.
An example of to paraphrase is to repeat a quote that you heard earlier, leaving some parts out.
- The definition of a paraphrase is a rewording of something that has been said or written, to make it clearer.
An example of to paraphrase is to repeat the main points of a speech to someone who didn’t understand.
- a rewording of something spoken or written, usually for the purpose of making its meaning clearer
- the use of this as a literary or teaching device
- an approximate rendering of a quotation, saying, etc. whose exact words cannot be cited or recalled
- a free reworking of a musical text or composition
Origin of paraphraseFrench from Classical Latin paraphrasis from Classical Greek from paraphrazein, to say in other words: see para- and phrase
transitive verb-·phrased·, -·phras·ing
- A restatement of a text or passage in another form or other words, often to clarify meaning.
- The restatement of texts in other words as a studying or teaching device.
- The adaptation or alteration of a text or quotation to serve a different purpose from that of the original.
verbpar·a·phrased, par·a·phras·ing, par·a·phras·es
- To restate using different words, especially to clarify.
- To adapt or alter (a text or quotation) to serve a different purpose from that of the original: “It's tempting to paraphrase an environmental slogan and say, 'Think globally, pray locally'” ( Christian Science Monitor )
Origin of paraphraseFrench from Latin paraphrasis from Greek from paraphrazein to paraphrase para- alongside ; see para- 1. phrazein to show, explain ; see gwhren- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present paraphrases, present participle paraphrasing, simple past and past participle paraphrased)