phras·​ing | \ ˈfrā-ziŋ How to pronounce phrasing (audio) \

Definition of phrasing

1 : style of expression : phraseology
2 : the act, method, or result of grouping notes into musical phrases

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Examples of phrasing in a Sentence

The phrasing of the instructions was confusing. a singer known for her elegant phrasing

Recent Examples on the Web

Since hip-hop beats and aspects of rap phrasing have steadily transformed country music, Keith can now play the part of the traditionalist who’s making sure that things get done like Hank would have wanted (maybe). John Adamian,, "Toby Keith playing Mohegan for Independence Day," 28 June 2019 Joanna Lynn-Jacobs, one of three performers embodying Alexandra, proved strikingly Monk-like in her timbre and phrasing. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "Meredith Monk’s “ATLAS” and the L.A. Phil’s Extraordinary Season," 24 June 2019 In recent years the band has mixed dashes of hip-hop vocal phrasing and big howling emo choruses into the equation. John Adamian,, "Blink-182, on 20th anniversary tour, with Lil Wayne at Xfinity," 21 June 2019 The colorful phrasing won him numerous headlines, which is really the best initial response a dissenting justice can hope for when on the losing side of an argument. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "The art of throwing shade in a SCOTUS dissent," 20 June 2019 North Atlantic and Southern right whales have been found to use single gunshot calls, upcalls, screams, and warbles instead of the patterned phrasing that constitutes singing. Amy Woodyatt, CNN, "Song of rare whale 'crying for mate' recorded for the first time," 20 June 2019 Then, as a message enters the system, Microsoft’s Sentiment Analysis artificial intelligence translates the words and phrasing used, and chooses corresponding lights and soundscapes to best fit the emotion of the message. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "Feel the Pride: The Ally Coalition and Microsoft Team Up with St. Vincent for New NYC Exhibit," 19 June 2019 Though the quote is attributed to Voltaire, the phrasing is actually based on writing from white nationalist and neo-Nazi Kevin Alfred Strom. Sara M Moniuszko, USA TODAY, "John Cusack apologizes for re-tweeting anti-Semitic image after initially blaming 'bot'," 18 June 2019 Roman dispatched the third movement Cadenza with breathtaking clarity and natural phrasing. Rick Schultz,, "L.A. Chamber Orchestra musicians offer a fitting remembrance for one of their own," 22 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'phrasing.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of phrasing

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near phrasing

phrase structure







Statistics for phrasing

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for phrasing

The first known use of phrasing was in 1611

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More Definitions for phrasing



English Language Learners Definition of phrasing

: the way something is expressed in words : the particular words or the order of words that are used to express something
music : the act of grouping notes together in a particular way

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More from Merriam-Webster on phrasing

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with phrasing

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for phrasing

Nglish: Translation of phrasing for Spanish Speakers

Comments on phrasing

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something desired as essential

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