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

What details to include, what quotes, what phrasing, what order. Los Angeles Times, "Two mothers and a son at the center of a ‘straight pride’ culture war," 5 Sep. 2019 Enzo’s phrasing, thanks to Costner, is an easy-on-the-ears drawl; the texture of his voice is pleasingly rough, like a bit of fur that’s been slightly ruffled by the removal of a bothersome burdock. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "The Art of Racing in the Rain," 8 Aug. 2019 At 72, former San Antonio mayor Henry Cisneros is unbowed by paragliding mishap Many of us in this group prefer to call ourselves native Spanish speakers, with all our archaic phrasing and Spanglish gems that transcend both English and Spanish. Elaine Ayala,, "Lack of Spanish fluency should never be a source of shame for Hispanics," 1 Aug. 2019 Marianne Williamson has emerged as a meme queen since debuting on the 2020 Democratic presidential primary debate stage last month, offering unusual phrasings, unique points of focus, and more…spiritually influenced policy ideas. Caroline Tew,, "A guide to presidential candidate Marianne Williamson's books, from mild to wild," 1 Aug. 2019 That phrasing appears to confirm that streaming boxes like the Chromecast won't support wired Google Stadia controllers. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Google speaks to fuzzy game-ownership question in new Stadia FAQ," 9 July 2019 That phrasing stopped short of actually saying the lines were producing 500 cars a day. Charley Grant, WSJ, "Tesla’s Busy and Worrisome Week," 27 June 2018 Above all, Villaume showed a natural feel for Ravel’s modes of expression and phrasing, the conductor quite persuasive in the composer’s singular musical language. Howard Reich,, "Grant Park Orchestra review: Radiant music amid another storm," 18 July 2019 That’s not a sound that translates readily to a festival stage, though Valee demonstrated a feel for phrasing and dynamics that turned his terse, two-minute songs into a medley of hooks. Jessi Roti,, "Pitchfork Music Fest 2019: 14 things we loved from a sweaty day 1," 19 July 2019

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

12 Sep 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

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

What made you want to look up phrasing? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


recurring in steady succession

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