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Definition of "phrase" []

  • A sequence of words intended to have meaning. (noun)
  • A characteristic way or mode of expression. (noun)
  • A brief, apt, and cogent expression. (noun)
  • A word or group of words read or spoken as a unit and separated by pauses or other junctures. (noun)
  • Grammar Two or more words in sequence that form a syntactic unit that is less than a complete sentence. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "phrase" in a sentence
  • "-- _Compose sentences in which each of these three participles shall be used as an adjective modifier, as the principal word in a prepositional phrase, as the principal word in a phrase used as a subject or as an object complement, as a mere adjective, as a mere noun, and in an absolute phrase_: --"
  • "The +infinitive phrase+ may be used +after a preposition+ as the +principal term+ of another phrase."
  • "The process of extension or expansion, by means of which the phrase usually assumes a somewhat irregular length, consists mainly in the varied repetition of the figures or motives that it contains; and the continuity of the whole, as extension of the _one phrase_, is maintained by suppressing the cadence -- suspending all cadential interruption -- during the lengthening process."