Definition of holophrasis in English:


Syllabification: ho·loph·ra·sis
Pronunciation: /həˈläfrəsis


  • 1The expression of a whole phrase in a single word, for example howdy for how do you do.
  • 1.1The learning of linguistic elements as whole chunks by very young children acquiring their first language, for example it’s all gone learned as allgone.
    More example sentences
    • Infants begin by babbling and cooing, progress to holophrasis and by age three to four children are working on semantics and pragmatics.



Pronunciation: /ˈhäləˌfrāz, ˈhōlə-/
More example sentences
  • However, they usually regard holophrases as important, being the child's earliest ways of initiating verbal communication.
  • We know too that before children use mature speech, they coo and babble, and then use holophrases and telegraphic sentences.
  • Some people have even suggested that over 60% of what we say consists of such fixed holophrases, or unanalysed wholes.


Pronunciation: /ˌhäləˈfrastik, hōlə-/
More example sentences
  • Anyway, from a syntactic perspective, the one word stage is called the holophrastic stage.
  • It is likely that at some point in time humans spoke a protolanguage in which most words had neither holophrastic nor atomic meanings.
  • As the verbs form the base of these holophrastic words, they play a most important part in the grammatical structure of the language.

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Word of the day razz
Pronunciation: raz
tease (someone) playfully