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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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.
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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
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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"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


Using or containing an excessive number of words:
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[ˌperɪˈfræstɪk] ADJperifrástico
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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 kennings ).
The French preposition de can be analysed as a periphrastic genitive, corresponding to the morphological genitive found in languages such as Polish.
These two verbs function as auxiliary in periphrastic verb forms ([section]4.6).
In this paper, the semantic qualities of this verbal paradigm are compared with a periphrastic verbal construction that has a similar modal meaning.
Among their topics are the dialect of the Isles of Scilly: exploring the relationship between language production and language perception in a southern insular variety, the clergyman and the dialect speaker: some Sussex examples of a 19th-century research tradition, emphatic "yes" and "no" in eastern English : jearse and dow, steps toward characterizing Bristolian, and the historical geographical distribution of periphrastic do in southern dialects.
(24) This typographic cueing appears in the Ghoft's periphrastic descriptions of his punishment; such a tale 'Would harrow vp thy foule' (C4r).
The next line, and the herring flag floated far down in the sea, was seen as an image, a kind of periphrastic expression.
On her third example, given here in (3), Tomaszewska (2014: 69) writes that teonan don "seems to be a periphrastic (more emphatic) variant of the simple verb", apparently suggesting that teonan is a verb with do-support.
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.