AskDefine | Define paraphrase

Dictionary Definition

paraphrase n : rewording for the purpose of clarification [syn: paraphrasis] v : express the same message in different words [syn: rephrase, reword]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. a restatement of a text in different words, often to clarify meaning
  2. a similar restatement as an educational exercise


restatement of a text


  1. to restate something as, or to compose a paraphrase


Extensive Definition

Paraphrase (IPA: /ˈpærəˌfreɪz/) is restatement of a text or passage, using other words. The term "paraphrase" derives via the Latin "paraphrasis" from the Greek para phraseïn, meaning "additional manner of expression".
A paraphrase typically explains or clarifies the text that is being paraphrased. For example, "The signal was red" might be paraphrased as "The train was not allowed to proceed." When accompanying the original statement, a paraphrase is usually introduced with a verbum dicendi — a declaratory expression to signal the transition to the paraphrase. For example, in "The signal was red, that is, the train was not allowed to proceed," the "that is" signals the paraphrase that follows.
A paraphrase need not accompany a direct quotation, but when this is so, the paraphrase typically serves to put the source's statement into perspective or to clarify the context in which it appeared. A paraphrase is typically more detailed than a summary.
One feature of a paraphrase is that it preserves the essential meaning of the material being paraphrased. Thus, the (intentional or otherwise) reinterpretation of a source to infer a meaning that is not explicitly evident in the source itself qualifies as "original research," and not as paraphrase.
Unlike a metaphrase, which represents a "formal equivalent" of the source, a paraphrase represents a "dynamic equivalent" thereof. While a metaphrase attempts to translate a text literally, a paraphrase conveys the essential thought expressed in a source text — if necessary, at the expense of literality. See dynamic and formal equivalence for details.
A paraphrase that is not accompanied by adequate acknowledgment of the source is still a form of plagiarism.


  • Paraphrase: Write it in Your Own Words
paraphrase in Arabic: إعادة الصياغة
paraphrase in Czech: Parafráze
paraphrase in German: Paraphrase (Sprache)
paraphrase in Spanish: Paráfrasis
paraphrase in Esperanto: Parafrazo
paraphrase in French: Paraphrase
paraphrase in Galician: Paráfrase
paraphrase in Italian: Parafrasi
paraphrase in Japanese: パラフレーズ
paraphrase in Macedonian: Парафразирање
paraphrase in Dutch: Parafrase
paraphrase in Polish: Parafraza
paraphrase in Portuguese: Paráfrase
paraphrase in Russian: Парафраз
paraphrase in Serbian: Парафразирање
paraphrase in Swedish: Parafras
paraphrase in Ukrainian: Парафраз

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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