Definition of periphrastic in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌpɛrɪˈfrastɪk/


1(Of speech or writing) indirect and circumlocutory: the periphrastic nature of legal syntax
More example sentences
  • Labor is simply the complementary of leisure, and the two together are the periphrastic equivalent of life.
  • In journalism, short and clear is better than long and wordy; reporters generally don't have the space or time to reach for periphrastic phrasings when something more direct is available.
  • I spoke a little while ago about ‘dialogue across societies’ and, perhaps, you thought this was just a periphrastic way of invoking cross-cultural dialogue.
1.1 Grammar (Of a case or tense) formed by a combination of words rather than by inflection (such as did go and of the people rather than went and the people’s).
Example sentences
  • No one would claim that modern Japanese culture is one in which it is unnecessary to talk about the future, but Japanese has no future tense, not even a periphrastic one like English.
  • As the lexicon expands, the clumsy but motivated compounds and periphrastic expressions disappear.
  • Now, come back to the non-complementarity between the logophoric pronoun and the regular pronoun in, which is usually found in periphrastic logophoric constructions in African languages.



Pronunciation: /ˌpɛrɪˈfrastɪkli/


Early 19th century: from Greek periphrastikos, from periphrazein 'declare in a roundabout way'.

Words that rhyme with periphrastic

bombastic, drastic, dynastic, ecclesiastic, elastic, encomiastic, enthusiastic, fantastic, gymnastic, iconoclastic, mastic, monastic, neoplastic, orgastic, orgiastic, plastic, pleonastic, sarcastic, scholastic, scholiastic

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: peri|phras¦tic

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