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Related to periphrastic: circumlocutory


1. Having the nature of or characterized by periphrasis.
2. Grammar Constructed by using an auxiliary word rather than an inflected form; for example, of father is the periphrastic possessive case of father but father's is the inflected possessive case, and did say is the periphrastic past tense of say but said is the inflected past tense.

per′i·phras′ti·cal·ly adv.


(ˌpɛrɪˈfræstɪk) or


1. employing or involving periphrasis
2. (Grammar) expressed in two or more words rather than by an inflected form of one: used esp of a tense of a verb where the alternative element is an auxiliary verb. For example, He does go and He will go involve periphrastic tenses
ˌperiˈphrastically adv


(ˌpɛr əˈfræs tɪk)

1. circumlocutory; roundabout.
2. expressed by or using grammatical periphrasis, as the construction more friendly rather than friendlier.
[1795–1805; < Greek periphrastikós, derivative of periphrázein to use periphrasis]
per`i•phras′ti•cal•ly, adv.


referring to the ability in some languages to use function words instead of inflections, as “the hair of the dog” for “dog’s hair.” — periphrasis, n.
See also: Grammar
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.periphrastic - roundabout and unnecessarily wordyperiphrastic - roundabout and unnecessarily wordy; "had a preference for circumlocutious (or circumlocutory) rather than forthright expression"; "A periphrastic study in a worn-out poetical fashion,/ Leaving one still with the intolerable wrestle/ With words and meanings."-T.S.Eliot; (`ambagious' is archaic)
indirect - extended senses; not direct in manner or language or behavior or action; "making indirect but legitimate inquiries"; "an indirect insult"; "doubtless they had some indirect purpose in mind"; "though his methods are indirect they are not dishonest"; "known as a shady indirect fellow"


Using or containing an excessive number of words:


[ˌperɪˈfræstɪk] ADJperifrástico


References in classic literature ?
The language, compared to that of our own vastly more complex time, was undeveloped; but for use in poetry, especially, there were a great number of periphrastic but vividly picturesque metaphorical synonyms (technically called
The next line, and the herring flag floated far down in the sea, was seen as an image, a kind of periphrastic expression.
This study examines the syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic aspects of morphological and periphrastic or analytic causative constructions in Hausa, a Chadic/Afroasiatic language spoken in Western Africa.
This paper focuses on the treatment of periphrastic verbal constructions in FrGramm, a French computational grammar we have recently implemented in the Xerox Linguistic Environment (XLE).
English is obliged to use a personal pronoun, while the person is included in the final -o of the Italian verb dic-o; negation is expressed in English by a periphrastic form (i.
Section 5 discusses morphological and morphosyntactic aspects, focusing on the use of the second person pronoun, the imperative, the periphrastic DO, and binomials.
After listening to several rounds of Echevarne's discourse, Renzi is able to identify the outlier words, and reconstruct the actual phrase the woman is trying to communicate in the midst of her periphrastic utterances.
The periphrastic structure above is identical with the predicative structure apsat omel 'I am not [a] blacksmith' and converges with predicative paradigms typical of the region.
As a result, this leads to a cumbersome and periphrastic distinction made between usmeno prevodenje ('oral translation') and pismeno prevodenje ('written translation').
These include the use of double negation, preposition stranding, the use of -ing forms and the subjunctive, variation in verb forms and the use of do-less negatives and periphrastic do.
Oldbuck's 'The Caledoniad' is an obvious object of mockery, and at the start of the second volume of Waverley the narrator jestingly threatens to retard his story at an exciting moment with long extracts from Lindsay of Pitscottie and the English poet John Taylor before relenting and deciding to proceed, 'without further tyranny over my readers, or display of the extent of my own reading' and 'with all the brevity that my natural style of composition, partaking of what scholars call the periphrastic and ambagitory, and the vulgar the circumbendibus, will permit me'.