—n. 1. Gram. a. a sequence of two or more words arranged in a grammatical construction and acting as a unit in a sentence.
b. (in English) a sequence of two or more words that does not contain a finite verb and its subject or that does not consist of clause elements such as subject, verb, object, or complement, as a preposition and a noun or pronoun, an adjective and noun, or an adverb and verb.
2. Rhet.a word or group of spoken words that the mind focuses on momentarily as a meaningful unit and is preceded and followed by pauses.
3. a characteristic, current, or proverbial expression: a hackneyed phrase. 4. Music.a division of a composition, commonly a passage of four or eight measures, forming part of a period.
5. a way of speaking, mode of expression, or phraseology: a book written in the phrase of the West. 6. a brief utterance or remark: In a phrase, he's a dishonest man. 7. Dancing.a sequence of motions making up part of a choreographic pattern.
—v.t. 1. to express or word in a particular way: to phrase an apology well. 2. to express in words: to phrase one's thoughts. 3. Music. a. to mark off or bring out the phrases of (a piece), esp. in execution.
b. to group (notes) into a phrase.
—v.i. Music.to perform a passage or piece with proper phrasing.