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

The phrasing wasn’t the only problem for many fans, with some remarking that the federation should be placing its focus on other things. Jessica Taylor Price, Teen Vogue, "The International Gymnastics Federation Has Banned Heavy Makeup During Competitions," 1 Nov. 2018 Over most of those 17 years, Mr. Carll’s vocal phrasing would often bend in surprising, quirky ways, and his accompaniment varied from sparse folky picking to raucous rock. Barry Mazor, WSJ, "‘What It Is’ by Hayes Carll Review: A New Direction, Yet Again," 12 Feb. 2019 Related Gary Samore, who was a senior National Security Council aide under President Obama, said the phrasing implies that the diplomatic process wouldn’t immediately collapse if North Korea doesn’t obtain sanctions relief. Andrew Jeong, WSJ, "Kim Jong Un Extends Peace Overture to U.S.," 1 Jan. 2019 Which is interesting phrasing, considering the number of DHA hackers who say FBI agents have quietly approached them to either help with an investigation or to build a case on someone else. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Want to Be A Hacker? Go to Dallas.," 4 Dec. 2018 And the broad, ambiguous phrasing would seem to be potentially applicable to pretty much any person or entity who is against birth control on any grounds. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Birth Control Helped Us Reach Historically Low Abortion Rates, But the Trump Administration Could Change That," 30 Nov. 2018 In what was her Monterey debut, Jones left behind the glancing phrasing and wistful mood of her former self. Paul De Barros, The Seattle Times, "From Norah Jones to Dawn Clement, women shone at Monterey Jazz Festival 2018," 24 Sep. 2018 The survey itself contained certain biases in the phrasing of the questions that may have skewed the answers in a particular way. Tanay Warerkar, Curbed, "Yale School of Architecture exhibition questions gender disparity in the industry," 18 Oct. 2018 Then the device would be able to respond using a library of past commands to match a specific user’s content preferences, requests, and phrasings to make Siri more accurate. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "New Apple patent hints that Siri could offer multiuser support," 14 Aug. 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

25 Apr 2019

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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

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