A phrase is a small group of words that forms a meaningful unit within a clause. There are several different types, as follows:
A noun phrase is built around a single noun, for example:
A vase of roses stood on the table.
She was reading a book about the emancipation of women.
A verb phrase is the verbal part of a clause, for example:
She had been living in London.
I will be going to college next year.
An adjective phrase is built around an adjective, for example:
He’s led a very interesting life.
It's really cold today.
An adverbial phrase is built round an adverb by adding words before and/or after it, for example:
The economy recovered very slowly.
They wanted to leave the country as fast as possible.
In a prepositional phrase the preposition always comes at the beginning, for example:
I longed to live near the sea.
The dog was hiding under the kitchen table.
Of course, we also use the word phrase to refer to a short group of words that have a particular meaning when they are used together, such as rain cats and dogs, play for time, or a square meal. This type of phrase is often referred to as an idiom.