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Definition of paraphrase

 (Entry 1 of 2)

Definition of paraphrase  (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

transitive verb

Did you know?

When we paraphrase, we provide a version that can exist beside the original (rather than replace it). We paraphrase all the time. When you tell a friend what someone else has said, you're almost always paraphrasing, since you're not repeating the exact words. If you go to hear a talk, you might paraphrase the speaker's main points afterward for your friends. And when writing a paper on a short story, you might start off your essay with a paraphrase of the plot. Paraphrasing is especially useful when dealing with poetry, since poetic language is often difficult and poems may have meanings that are hard to pin down.

Example Sentences

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

Word History

Noun and Verb

Middle French, from Latin paraphrasis , from Greek, from paraphrazein to paraphrase, from para- + phrazein to point out

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

1598, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Dictionary Entries Near paraphrase


Cite this Entry

“Paraphrase.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/paraphrase. Accessed 5 Mar. 2023.

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Nglish: Translation of paraphrase for Spanish Speakers

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Paraphrase: Write It in Your Own Words

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This handout is intended to help you become more comfortable with the uses of and distinctions among quotations, paraphrases, and summaries. This handout compares and contrasts the three terms, gives some pointers, and includes a short excerpt that you can use to practice these skills.

Paraphrasing is one way to use a text in your own writing without directly quoting source material. Anytime you are taking information from a source that is not your own, you need to specify where you got that information.

A paraphrase is...

Paraphrasing is a valuable skill because...

6 Steps to Effective Paraphrasing

Some examples to compare

Note that the examples in this section use MLA style for in-text citation.

The original passage:

Students frequently overuse direct quotation in taking notes, and as a result they overuse quotations in the final [research] paper. Probably only about 10% of your final manuscript should appear as directly quoted matter. Therefore, you should strive to limit the amount of exact transcribing of source materials while taking notes. Lester, James D. Writing Research Papers . 2nd ed., 1976, pp. 46-47.

A legitimate paraphrase:

In research papers, students often quote excessively, failing to keep quoted material down to a desirable level. Since the problem usually originates during note taking, it is essential to minimize the material recorded verbatim (Lester 46-47).

An acceptable summary:

Students should take just a few notes in direct quotation from sources to help minimize the amount of quoted material in a research paper (Lester 46-47).

A plagiarized version:

Students often use too many direct quotations when they take notes, resulting in too many of them in the final research paper. In fact, probably only about 10% of the final copy should consist of directly quoted material. So it is important to limit the amount of source material copied while taking notes.

A note about plagiarism: This example has been classed as plagiarism, in part, because of its failure to deploy any citation. Plagiarism is a serious offense in the academic world. However, we acknowledge that plagiarism is a difficult term to define; that its definition may be contextually sensitive; and that not all instances of plagiarism are created equal—that is, there are varying “degrees of egregiousness” for different cases of plagiarism.

OTHER WORDS FOR paraphrase

Origin of paraphrase, synonym study for paraphrase, other words from paraphrase, words nearby paraphrase, more about paraphrase, what does paraphrase mean.

A paraphrase is a restatement of a text in your own words while giving credit to the person who originated the thought. For example, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” You might paraphrase it in an essay by writing, “To paraphrase FDR, we have nothing to be afraid of, and we can’t let fear hold us back.”

To paraphrase means to restate something in your own words. You might paraphrase complicated information in order to make it easier for your audience to understand. You also might paraphrase something when you can’t remember or can’t verify the exact wording. It’s important to remember that you still need to credit the originator of the statement you’re paraphrasing .

Example: If you cannot remember the exact quote, you can paraphrase with precise detail.

Where does paraphrase come from?

The first records of the term paraphrase come from the mid-1500s. It ultimately comes from the Greek paráphrasis . Typically, the suffix para – means “side by side,” so a paraphrase is a “side by side phrase,” or “a phrase that means the same but looks or sounds different.”

Sometimes, people will paraphrase famous quotes, quotes from important figures, or quotes from research and change key parts of it or the overall wording to make the quote seem like it supports their claim when, in fact, it does not. For example, someone may paraphrase a quote from a research article but leave out certain details to make the research support their argument while the actual quote might not. When looking at an argument that uses a lot of paraphrases as evidence, it’s a good idea to find the original quotes to see if they truly support the argument.

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to paraphrase ?

What are some synonyms for paraphrase ?

What are some words that share a root or word element with paraphrase ? 

What are some words that often get used in discussing paraphrase ?

How is paraphrase used in real life?

News, research, and academic writing often use paraphrasing to tell their stories.

To paraphrase: How long does it take to write a screenplay? Your whole life plus the time it takes to type it. — Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) November 8, 2015
FAQ: How many in-text citations do I need in a paragraph when I am paraphrasing (e.g., after every sentence or just once at the end)? A: The “Long Paraphrases” section of this #APAStyle page has practical guidelines and examples: https://t.co/eH9tg2nf4M — APA Style (@APA_Style) December 1, 2021
to paraphrase shigeru miyamoto, a delayed album is eventually good, but a rushed album is forever bad — xander (@mura_masa_) December 30, 2015

Try using paraphrase !

True or False?

To paraphrase someone is to quote their words precisely.

Words related to paraphrase

How to use paraphrase in a sentence.

When Obsessive Loser Duncan Stevens suggested examples for this contest — one of several Shakespeare-centered challenges he’s proposed — I told him that I wanted to stick to modern paraphrase s, rather than taking him humorously out of context.

To paraphrase Peter Tosh, if Illinois were to legalize it, would you advertise it?

To paraphrase the renegade philosopher Hannibal, I love it when science comes together.

To paraphrase Fox Friends, don't get caught beating women on camera and you're safe to play in the NFL.

Barry Goldwater is not the sort of man you might expect Stephen F. Cohen to paraphrase .

To paraphrase the great John Oliver, listen up, fellow self-pitying nerd boys—we are not the victims here.

A man may weep and weep, to paraphrase Shakespeare, "and be a villain!"

The omissions are the most sensible that I have found in a paraphrase .

This is not paraphrase ; it is sheer misapprehension of the Old English.

As the language in which it is written is not easily intelligible, I have added a paraphrase on the opposite pages.

Instead of "Him that maketh the seven stars and Orion," we have the paraphrase , "That maketh and transformeth all things."

British Dictionary definitions for paraphrase

Derived forms of paraphrase, word origin for paraphrase, cultural definitions for paraphrase.

A restatement of speech or writing that retains the basic meaning while changing the words. A paraphrase often clarifies the original statement by putting it into words that are more easily understood.

How to Paraphrase (Without Plagiarizing a Thing)

Matt Ellis

A paraphrase (or paraphrasing) is a restatement of another piece of writing with new words or phrases while keeping the same meaning, usually to modify the language or simply  avoid plagiarism . For example, Shakespeare’s famous line, “To be or not to be,” could be paraphrased as, “Is it better to exist or not exist at all?” 

Paraphrasing is an important communication technique, especially in research papers , to avoid copying an original source verbatim. However, learning how to paraphrase can take some practice, so below we explain what you need to know, starting with a simple paraphrase definition. 

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What is paraphrasing? 

Paraphrasing takes an original passage and uses different words or phrases to express the same meaning. Essentially, a paraphrase just rewrites the original text in its own way. 

A paraphrase always uses unique wording, something you come up with that’s different from the original source. Because they’re unique, paraphrases do not require  quotation marks as direct quotes do. 

What is the purpose of paraphrasing? 

Why bother paraphrasing when you can just quote the primary or secondary source? With a variety of benefits, paraphrasing comes in handy in quite a few different situations. In particular, here are six common reasons to paraphrase:

1 Improve word choice

Sometimes you just want to rewrite the original text in your own words—maybe you want to fit it to your personal writing style, or perhaps you just prefer your own  word choice . In any case, paraphrasing gives you the chance to pick your own words or phrases while keeping the core of the message the same. 

2 Change subject matter

Paraphrasing is very useful if you like the wording of the original passage but want to change the subject to apply to something else. For example, Will Rogers’s famous quote, “I never met a man I didn’t like,” is often paraphrased, sometimes humorously, as in comedian Jim Gaffigan saying, “I never met a cheeseburger I didn’t like.” 

3 Avoid plagiarizing

Rewriting someone’s text without changing the words is plagiarism. If you want to repeat a sentiment or cite another person’s research, you have to at least put it into your own words or quote it directly, but overusing quotes can also be problematic, as we see below.

4 Avoid overusing quotes

Quotations are great when the author said it best themselves, but use too many quotes and you’re essentially just copying someone else’s work. If you’re constantly referencing others’ works, it’s best to switch between paraphrasing and direct quotes to make a piece of writing your own. 

5 Avoid problematic language

Occasionally, the language in a direct quote won’t fit what you’re writing. Often this is a mechanical mistake, such as a partial quote with the wrong  subject-verb agreement or gender pronoun . 

Other times, it could be insensitive or outdated language. For example, the famous (albeit antiquated) line “a good man is hard to find” can be paraphrased more modernly as “a good partner is hard to find.” 

6 Shorten lengthy quotes

Last, paraphrasing works wonders when you need to condense a long, verbose quote to make it more digestible. Some writers get paid by the word, so to speak, but if you’re writing something meant to be concise, you can paraphrase their original text more succinctly. 

What is the difference between paraphrasing and summarizing?

Paraphrasing and summarizing are two similar and related ideas, so it makes sense that they’re often confused with each other. 

To tell them apart, think of them like this: Paraphrasing is putting an individual passage into your own words while summarizing is putting a text or passage’s main idea, theme, or story into your own words. 

Summarizing deals with the big picture, such as an entire body of work or a complete chapter, while paraphrasing deals with specific passages, from a few words to a few paragraphs, but nothing terribly lengthy. Summaries are always shorter than their original source, but paraphrases are typically around the same length as, if not slightly shorter than, their source. 

Another distinction is that summaries tend to gloss over the details, as we mentioned when explaining how to write a summary , whereas paraphrases can still incorporate everything, as long as it’s reworded. 

How to paraphrase, with examples

Paraphrasing is one of the  five most effective methods for avoiding plagiarism , but how do you say the same thing without using the same words? Here are some simple strategies that we suggest in combination for effective paraphrasing: 

1 Use synonyms  

Replace the essential words of an original passage with other words that mean the same thing, such as using “scientist” for “researcher,” or “seniors” for “the elderly.” This is a common approach to paraphrasing, but it’s not sufficient on its own. Combine this strategy with some of the others below to make your writing appear fresh. 

Original text: 

Some plants release certain aromas to alert their plant neighbors that they’re under attack. 

Paraphrase : 

Some vegetation emits special scents to warn other plants that there’s danger nearby. 

2 Change the parts of speech

Sometimes, you can rephrase a sentence by changing the parts of speech, such as converting a  gerund into the operative verb, or turning an adjective into an adverb . This strategy depends on the wording of the original passage, so you may not always have the opportunity; we also suggest using this in combination with other strategies here for more original writing. 

Polar bears are almost undetectable by infrared cameras because of how they conserve heat.


Polar bears cannot be detected easily by infrared cameras due to their unique heat conservation. 

3 Rearrange the structure

You can switch around the order of certain phrases and clauses—or mix and match them from other sentences—to create brand new sentences. Although it may be tempting to use the  passive voice when paraphrasing, try to avoid it unless there’s no other option. 

The observable universe consists of 50,000,000,000 galaxies.

Fifty billion galaxies comprise the known universe. 

4 Add or remove pieces

If a part of a quote isn’t relevant to what you’re writing about, you can remove it and paraphrase the remainder in your own words. Likewise, you can add your own personal take to an existing quote to help contextualize it or adapt it to your topic. In either case, make sure you still reword whatever comes from the original source. 

Human eyes get used to darkness after an hour, but by then they’ll be 100,000 times more sensitive to light.

If you sit in a dark room, your eyes will eventually adjust and become 100,000 times more sensitive to light—but be careful when you turn on the light again!

Paraphrasing FAQs

Have specific questions about paraphrasing and how to paraphrase? You’re not alone! Here are some frequently asked questions about paraphrasing by others just like you. 

What is paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing is restating another author’s original text in your own words. In essence, it is a new piece of writing with the same meaning, as opposed to a direct quotation from an existing piece of writing. 

What is an example of paraphrasing? 

The original passage from the US Declaration of Independence, “All men are created equal,” can be paraphrased in a more progressive way as “All people are created equal.” 

How do you paraphrase a sentence?

Some common techniques for paraphrasing involve using synonyms, changing the parts of speech, rearranging the sentence structure, and adding/removing specific sections. 

What makes a good paraphrase?

A good paraphrase has the same meaning as the original source, but with new words or phrases. It’s best for taking another author’s sentiments and expressing them in your own personal style.

Ensure your writing is original

When writing essays, research papers, and other academic writing assignments, you’re expected to turn in documents that are wholly original and in your own words. However, unintentional plagiarism is a risk many students face. Enter Grammarly’s plagiarism detector , which checks your writing against 90 billion online texts to flag any instances of unoriginal wording. Writing with Grammarly helps you avoid plagiarism and get better grades in the process.

paraphrase data meaning

American Psychological Association


A paraphrase restates another’s idea (or your own previously published idea) in your own words. Paraphrasing allows you to summarize and synthesize information from one or more sources, focus on significant information, and compare and contrast relevant details.

Published authors paraphrase their sources most of the time, rather than directly quoting the sources; student authors should emulate this practice by paraphrasing more than directly quoting.

When you paraphrase, cite the original work using either the narrative or parenthetical citation format .

Although it is not required to provide a page or paragraph number in the citation, you may include one (in addition to the author and year) when it would help interested readers locate the relevant passage within a long or complex work (e.g., a book).

Webster-Stratton (2016) described a case example of a 4-year-old girl who showed an insecure attachment to her mother; in working with the family dyad, the therapist focused on increasing the mother’s empathy for her child (pp. 152–153).

These guidelines pertain to when you read a primary source and paraphrase it yourself. If you read a paraphrase of a primary source in a published work and want to cite that source, it is best to read and cite the primary source directly if possible; if not, use a secondary source citation .

paraphrase data meaning

This guidance has been expanded from the 6th edition. 

Related handout

Long paraphrases

A paraphrase may continue for several sentences. In such cases, cite the work being paraphrased on first mention. Once the work has been cited, it is not necessary to repeat the citation as long as the context of the writing makes it clear that the same work continues to be paraphrased.

Velez et al. (2018) found that for women of color, sexism and racism in the workplace were associated with poor work and mental health outcomes, including job-related burnout, turnover intentions, and psychological distress. However, self-esteem, person–organization fit, and perceived organizational support mediated these effects. Additionally, stronger womanist attitudes—which acknowledge the unique challenges faced by women of color in a sexist and racist society—weakened the association of workplace discrimination with psychological distress. These findings underscore the importance of considering multiple forms of workplace discrimination in clinical practice and research with women of color, along with efforts to challenge and reduce such discrimination.

If the paraphrase continues into a new paragraph, reintroduce the citation. If the paraphrase incorporates multiple sources or switches among sources, repeat the citation so the source is clear. Read your sentences carefully to ensure you have cited sources appropriately.

Play therapists can experience many symptoms of impaired wellness, including emotional exhaustion or reduced ability to empathize with others (Elwood et al., 2011; Figley, 2002), disruption in personal relationships (Elwood et al., 2011; Robinson-Keilig, 2014), decreased satisfaction with work (Elwood et al., 2011), avoidance of particular situations (Figley, 2002; O’Halloran & Linton, 2000), and feelings or thoughts of helplessness (Elwood et al., 2011; Figley, 2002; O’Halloran & Linton, 2000).

From the APA Style blog

How to cite your own translations

How to cite your own translations

If you translate a passage from one language into another on your own in your paper, your translation is considered a paraphrase, not a direct quotation.

paraphrase data meaning

APA Style webinar on citing works in text

Attend the webinar, “Citing Works in Text Using Seventh Edition APA Style,” on July 14, 2020, to learn the keys to accurately and consistently citing sources in APA Style.

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Paraphrase data sets

I am looking for paraphrase data sets.

I am aware of the following:

PPDB: The Paraphrase Database ( Ganitkevitch, Juri, Benjamin Van Durme, and Chris Callison-Burch. " PPDB: The Paraphrase Database. " HLT-NAACL. 2013. ). Its English portion, PPDB:Eng, contains over 220 million paraphrase pairs.

The Microsoft Research Paraphrase Corpus (2005):

5800 pairs of sentences which have been extracted from news sources on the web, along with human annotations indicating whether each pair captures a paraphrase/semantic equivalence relationship. No more than 1 sentence has been extracted from any given news article. We have made a concerted effort to correctly associate with each sentence information about its provenance and any associated information about its author. If any attribution information is incorrect or missing, please send email to [email protected] and we will update the file.

Franck Dernoncourt's user avatar

4 Answers 4

You definitely have the big ones with MSRP and PPDB. A few others, grouped by maintainers.

CLiC at the Universitat de Barcelona

Maintain several highly annotated corpora. These are available from their site , by request/registration. It is a request they grant with almost no questions asked. (My experience was that after registering online I had to sent them an email).

P4P (paraphrases for plagiarism detection)

The P4P corpus contains a partition of the plagiarism cases in the PAN-PC-10 * corpus manually annotated with the paraphrase phenomena they contain. It is composed of 847 source-plagiarism pairs in English.

This is not the hyperlink from the quote, but unlike that one does go to right address.

These are multi-sentence paraphrases. PAN-PC-10 is a Plagiarism corpus, for context

See Paper: A. Barrón-Cedeño, M. Vila, M. A. Martí, and P. Rosso. 2013. Plagiarism meets paraphrasing: Insights for the next generation in automatic plagiarism detection . Computational Linguistics, 39(4):917-947

MSRP-A (annoated MSRP)

MSRP-A stands for “Microsoft Research Paraphrase” corpus “Annotated”. The MSRP-A corpus contains the positive examples in the MSRP corpus manually annotated with the paraphrase phenomena they contain. It is composed of the 3,900 paraphrase pairs in English.

I believe the annotations are similar to those in P4P; but have not looked so I am uncertain. There is no additionally utility here if you don't want annotations.

See Paper: W. B. Dolan and C. Brockett. 2005. Automatically constructing a corpus of sentential paraphrases . In Proceedings of the Third International Workshop on Paraphrasing (IWP 2005), pages 9-16.

WRPA Relational Paraphrase Acquisition from Wikipedia

WRPA stands for “Relational Paraphrase Acquisition from Wikipedia” corpus. The WRPA corpus contains relational paraphrases extracted by the WRPA system from Wikipedia.

It has several types of relational paraphrases. By which the authors mean to the are paraphrases about a particular relations. Eg paraphrases about people person and their place of birth.

See Paper: Vila, Marta, Horacio Rodríguez, and M. Antònia Martí. " WRPA: A system for relational paraphrase acquisition from Wikipedia. " Procesamiento del lenguaje natural 45 (2010): 11-19.

Own work: Paraphrased Grouped Opinosis Subcorpus

For my own work I required a corpus which had a large number of paraphrases for each meaning. For this I constructed a corpus based on Opinosis . Opinosis is a highly redundant corpus of opinions -- that did not originally have the paraphrases marked. (I can attest there is not a lot of validation of the accuracy of this corpus, given it was only annotated by one person (being me).)

On same pages also links my own automatically grouped MSRP subcorpus, that is less useful, because it it countains paraphrases you already have got from MSRP.

See Paper: Lyndon White, Roberto Togneri, Wei Liu, and Mohammed Bennamoun , 2015: How Well Sentence Embeddings Capture Meaning , Proceedings of the 20th Australasian Document Computing Symposium

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Google recently released paraphrase dataset: Paraphrase Adversaries from Word Scrambling (PAWS) .


This dataset is superior to many paraphrase datasets. As stated in their page,

Existing paraphrase identification datasets lack sentence pairs that have high lexical overlap without being paraphrases. Models trained on such data fail to distinguish pairs like flights from New York to Florida and flights from Florida to New York.

The dataset has two subsets, one based on Wikipedia and the other one based on the Quora Question Pairs (QQP) dataset.

There is an accompanying research paper for this dataset:

PAWS: Paraphrase Adversaries from Word Scrambling

Proton Boss's user avatar

You can also check out the Quora Question Pairs Dataset which was used in the recent Kaggle competetition.

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How to Paraphrase Statistical Data?

Table of contents.

Paraphrasing is one of the most difficult yet equally useful skills you are going to have to learn when writing academic papers. Using statistics in your papers can immensely strengthen your argument. However, many students ask, “ how can I paraphrase a bunch of numbers ?”

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For this reason, students use direct quotations when they want to incorporate statistical data into their papers. But it’s possible to use paraphrasing to include statistics on your paper instead of quotation.

In this article, we will answer the question of how to paraphrase statistical data the best we can to help you to write.

What is Paraphrasing?

shallow focus photography of books in various colors, red white and yellow.

The idea of paraphrasing is to translate someone else’s ideas into your own. Paraphrasing a source requires changing the wording while preserving the original meaning.

The most successful paraphrase is your own explanation or interpretation of another person’s ideas . Paraphrasing is an effective method for restating, condensing, or clarifying another author’s ideas and providing credibility to your own argument.

Successful paraphrasing is critical for strong academic writing, and unintentional plagiarism can result from a failed one. 

Paraphrasing substitutes quoting. Quoting is easier to do; however, paraphrasing is preferred in academic writing because it allows the writer to express opinions in their own words.

Paraphrased material MUST be cited. Paraphrasing means that you are reciting the same information in your own words, but you must give credit to the original source.

Paraphrases should always include both the author and the year. You can do this through parenthetical citation or using footnotes. The citation method you use will change according to the style your instructor asks of you.

It is standard to quote in lower levels of academic writing, but at the college level, quoting directly should be done sparingly. A paper may contain only one or two direct quotes (or even zero) along with paraphrased information.

Using statistics is often a smart idea since they provide specific evidence to support your ideas, but paraphrasing statistics can present its own challenges.

It might seem difficult to paraphrase something such as “43%” in their papers. After all, the number 43 doesn’t have a synonym, so what would you have to write to paraphrase this data?

When paraphrasing, you combine your own sentence structure with your own vocabulary. Paraphrasing is only about using your own vocabulary, so you can’t use “43%”. 

As long as you use your own sentence structure, you can use the statistic without having to rephrase it.

Let’s look at an example. 

We could paraphrase this like this:

In this paraphrase, the quote’s statistic is rephrased to reflect the original but given a different frame. When you don’t have sufficient information to rephrase a statistic, this won’t work, so make sure you use this approach judiciously.

If there are multiple statistics in a sentence, think about which statistic is important. What main idea do you intend to present with the statistic? Choose the most important one and paraphrase the statistic that matters.

Finally, you might quote the statistic partially if all else fails. Students usually try the other methods described above before trying this. However, there may be times when quoting a statistic ensures that your writing is accurate and clear.

How to Paraphrase Statistical Data?

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Glossary of Grammatical and Rhetorical Terms

A paraphrase is a restatement of a text in another form or other words, often to simplify or clarify meaning .

"When you paraphrase," says Brenda Spatt, "you retain everything about the original writing but the words."

"When I put down words that I say somebody said they needn't be the exact words, just what you might call the meaning." (Mark Harris, The Southpaw . Bobbs-Merrill, 1953

Paraphrasing Steve Jobs

"I've often heard Steve [Jobs] explain why Apple's products look so good or work so well by telling the 'show car' anecdote . 'You see a show car,' he would say (I'm paraphrasing here, but this is pretty close to his words), 'and you think, "That's a great design, it's got great lines." Four or five years later, the car is in the showroom and in television ads, and it sucks. And you wonder what happened. They had it. They had it, and then they lost it.'" (Jay Elliot with William Simon, The Steve Jobs Way: iLeadership for a New Generation . Vanguard, 2011

Summary, Paraphrase, and Quotation

"A summary , written in your own words, briefly restates the writer's main points. Paraphrase , although written in your own words, is used to relate the details or the progression of an idea in your source. Quotation , used sparingly, can lend credibility to your work or capture a memorable passage." (L. Behrens, A Sequence for Academic Writing . Longman, 2009

How to Paraphrase a Text

" Paraphrase passages that present important points, explanations, or arguments but that don't contain memorable or straightforward wording. Follow these steps: (R. VanderMey, The College Writer . Houghton, 2007

Reasons for Using Paraphrase

" Paraphrasing helps your readers to gain a detailed understanding of your sources , and, indirectly, to accept your thesis as valid. There are two major reasons for using paraphrase in your essays .

1. Use paraphrase to present information or evidence whenever there is no special reason for using a direct quotation . . . . 2. Use paraphrase to give your readers an accurate and comprehensive account of ideas taken from a source--ideas that you intend to explain, interpret, or disagree with in your essay. . . .

"When you take notes for an essay based on one or more sources, you should mostly paraphrase. Quote only when recording phrases or sentences that clearly merit quotation. All quotable phrases and sentences should be transcribed accurately in your notes, with quotation marks separating the paraphrase from the quotation." (Brenda Spatt, Writing From Sources , 8th ed. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2011

Paraphrase as a Rhetorical Exercise

"A  paraphrase differs from a translation in not being a transfer from one language to another. . . . We generally associate with paraphrase the notion of an expansion of the original thought by definitions , periphrasis , examples , etc., with a view to making it more intelligible; but this is not essential. Here is meant the simpler form, in which the pupil reproduces in his own words the complete thought of an author, without attempting to explain it or to imitate the style .

"It has been frequently urged against this exercise, that, in thus substituting other words for those of an accurate writer, we must necessarily choose such as are less expressive of the sense. It has, however, been defended by one of the greatest rhetoricians-- Quintilian ." (Andrew D. Hepburn, Manual of English Rhetoric , 1875

Monty Python and Computer Paraphrasing

"In the famous sketch from the TV show 'Monty Python's Flying Circus,' the actor John Cleese had many ways of saying a parrot was dead, among them, 'This parrot is no more,' 'He's expired and gone to meet his maker,' and 'His metabolic processes are now history.'

"Computers can't do nearly that well at paraphrasing . English sentences with the same meaning take so many different forms that it has been difficult to get computers to recognize paraphrases, much less produce them. "Now, using several methods, including statistical techniques borrowed from gene analysis, two researchers have created a program that can automatically generate paraphrases of English sentences." (A. Eisenberg, "Get Me Rewrite!" The New York Times , Dec. 25, 2003

The Lighter Side of Paraphrasing

"Some guy hit my fender the other day, and I said unto him, 'Be fruitful, and multiply.' But not in those words.” (Woody Allen)    "The other important joke for me is one that's usually attributed to Groucho Marx, but I think it appears originally in Freud's Wit and Its Relation to the Unconscious . And it goes like this--I'm paraphrasing --'I would never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member.' That's the key joke of my adult life in terms of my relationships with women." (Woody Allen as Alvy Singer in Annie Hall , 1977)

Pronunciation: PAR-a-fraz

paraphrase data meaning

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paraphrased; paraphrases; paraphrasing

The verb paraphrase means to sum something up or clarify a statement by rephrasing it. So to paraphrase that explanation, it means to say something in other, simpler words.

If you break paraphrase down, you end up with the prefix para , meaning "beside," and the word phrase — so think of paraphrase as coming up with similar, more simple phrases that go beside the ones already said. You might paraphrase your teacher’s lesson because you want to simplify her complicated technical language, or because you forgot exactly what she said but remember the general meaning.

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When to Summarize, Paraphrase, and Quote


Summaries are significantly shorter than the original material, and they take a broad overview of the source material as a whole. Summary must be cited with in-text citations and on your reference page.

Summarize when:

You want to establish background or offer an overview of a topic

You want to describe knowledge (from several sources) about a topic

You want to determine the main ideas of a single source


Paraphrasing is stating an idea or passage in your own words. You must significantly change the wording, phrasing, and sentence structure (not just a few words here and there) of the source. These also must be noted with in-text citations and the reference page.

Paraphrase when:

You want to clarify a short passage from a text

You want to avoid overusing quotations

You want to explain a point when exact wording isn’t important

You want to explain the main points of a passage

You want to report numerical data or statistics (preferred in APA papers)

Quotations are the exact words of an author, copied directly from a source, word for word. Quotations must appear with quotation marks, and they need to be cited with in-text citations and on the reference page.

Use quotations when:

You want to add the power of an author’s words to support your argument

You want to disagree with an author’s argument

You want to highlight particularly eloquent or powerful phrases or passages

You are comparing and contrasting specific points of view

You want to note the important research that precedes your own


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Meaning of paraphrase in English

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What is Paraphrasing and How to Paraphrase the Right Way

Learn what paraphrasing is, how to paraphrase, and some tips for paraphrasing that will keep your work free from plagiarism.

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At our school, college, or university level, we all have explained various concepts and rewritten them in our own words to make our teachers or professors know we understood the concept. But did you know this simple act of explaining a sentence in your own words to convey its original meaning is otherwise called paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing is synonymous with rephrasing a sentence or a paragraph and is used to disseminate the right information. Read the article to know about paraphrasing, how to paraphrase, and the difference between paraphrasing, summarizing, and quoting.

What is Paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing is explaining someone else’s work in your words without quoting them directly. In paraphrasing, the central idea is retained and the credits are given to the original author through citations. 

Importance of Paraphrasing 

In academic writing, paraphrasing is important as the research paper requires data and evidence that can be incorporated through research by other scientists or researchers. This shows the proof of work and builds the authority to our write-up, but when these concepts are copied from the relevant research articles, we fall into the risk of plagiarism, which is a serious academic offense.  

By paraphrasing, we can incorporate others’ ideas into our essays or academic papers in our own words, according to our understanding, and this doesn’t fall under plagiarism. 

Tips for Paraphrasing

Note : When you are using your own previous research work, make sure to quote it or give the citation because this also falls under plagiarism.

Do’s and Don’ts in Paraphrasing

How to Paraphrase: 5-Step Process for Paraphrasing 

Paraphrasing, Summarizing and Quoting

While both paraphrasing and summarizing help you to write about your understanding in your own words, quoting refers to stating the exact sentences within quotation marks. But unlike paraphrasing, summarizing gives you an overview of the main idea. 

Paraphrasing and summarizing require excellent writing skills and analytical ability to interpret different ideas and demonstrate them in your own words. Whereas in quoting, you just need to have an eye on details and give the right citation.

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Your words and thoughts matter, and we’ve designed our paraphrase tool to ensure find the best words to match your expression. Just paste or start writing your text in our input box above, and our best in class AI will help you to generate the best paraphrases from your original writing.

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Getting your wording just right.

Paraphrasing is a natural part of the writing process as it helps you clarify your thinking and suit your words to your audience. Using a Paraphrase Tool helps structure and streamline this work, and our paraphrase tool offers 20 modes, many of them free, for accomplishing just this. The 20 modes we offer are diverse, including a summarize tool, a free grammar checker, a mode to simplify text, and a sentence shortener. There are sentence rephrasers and paraphrase rephrase tools, and we pride ourselves on having both, since our reword generator accounts for context at both the sentence and paragraph levels.

When you google paraphrase you will get a variety of results, from a free Paraphrase Tool , to an article spinner, to a general phrase tool, and it can be hard to determine which of these rephrase tools will best help you complete your work. If you simply need to get a word rephrase, that is, reword only small elements within the sentence, many tools will suffice, but there is the risk that you end up with a tool that does not consider context and produces very awkward and ungrammatical sentences. Rephrasing is very much an art, and we’ve built our paraphrase bot to produce the most correct results in 20 modes in over 100 languages, making it the best paraphrasing tool at an exceptionally low cost. So whether you need to paraphrase deutsch, paraphrase greek, or paraphrase bahasa melayu, the next time you think, I need something to paraphrase this for me, you’ll know where to turn.

From Keywords to Paragraphs

Generating paragraphs with unique ideas can be challenging, and too often writers get stuck at this stage of the writing process. With our paragraph tool, you can enter keywords and let our AI generate paragraphs for you, so that you can have something to work with, refine the output, and become more engaged in your writing.

A paragraph generator creates links between your ideas, such that the output is sensible, unique, and stimulating, very close to what you would expect a thoughtful human paragraph writer to produce.

Paragraph makers are nice, but what about a short story generator? Because our AI is generalized, it serves a story generator, an essay generator, a poem generator, and much more. To generate compelling stories, you should provide the story generator with useful keywords from which it can develop plot elements, including characters, setting details, and any situational information. To generate reasonably good essays, you should likewise provide the essay maker with details around argumentative positions and any other pertinent ideas. If you more specifically want an introduction paragraph generator or conclusion paragraph generator, you can provide starter text and keywords that will best enable our essay creator to produce them.

You may well ask, “is this essay generator free?” Everything on this site is free within a 3-day trial, so you can test and develop confidence in our products. You may also be wondering where this is an essay automatic writer or if it will take a while to get results. All results appear within a matter of seconds, so you can move through your work as quickly as possible.

You may have professional needs for creating paragraphs as well, such as those needed for cover letter. Most of the time a cover letter template includes information that is not relevant to you; by using your own keywords, we can produce cover letter examples that are relevant to your use case and often require very little editing. By using this service, you can also learn how to write a cover letter and achieve the cover letter format you need.

Plagiarism Checker Free

Like everything else on our site, you can check plagiarism free within a trial, which is a great opportunity for those who want to check a paper for plagiarism without committing to paying before they see results. This free plagiarism checker is great for students and clearly indicates how to check for plagiarism by highlighting areas of similarity between the two texts. Just to be sure you are not accidentally plagiarizing, be sure to check all of your paraphrases as well.


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  1. Paraphrase Definition & Meaning

    para· phrase ˈper-ə-ˌfrāz ˈpa-rə- Synonyms of paraphrase 1 : a restatement of a text, passage, or work giving the meaning in another form The teacher asked the students to write a paraphrase of the poem. 2 : the use or process of paraphrasing in studying or teaching composition

  2. How to Paraphrase

    Paraphrasing means putting someone else's ideas into your own words. Paraphrasing a source involves changing the wording while preserving the original meaning. Paraphrasing is an alternative to quoting (copying someone's exact words and putting them in quotation marks ).

  3. Paraphrasing

    Paraphrasing is one way to use a text in your own writing without directly quoting source material. Anytime you are taking information from a source that is not your own, you need to specify where you got that information. PARTNER CONTENT Check for plagiarism & grammar mistakes Wipe out writing errors that can affect your grade Check my paper

  4. Paraphrase Definition & Meaning

    paraphrase / ( ˈpærəˌfreɪz) / noun an expression of a statement or text in other words, esp in order to clarify the practice of making paraphrases verb to put (something) into other words; restate (something) Derived forms of paraphrase paraphrastic (ˌpærəˈfræstɪk ), adjective Word Origin for paraphrase

  5. How to Paraphrase (Without Plagiarizing a Thing)

    A paraphrase (or paraphrasing) is a restatement of another piece of writing with new words or phrases while keeping the same meaning, usually to modify the language or simply avoid plagiarism. For example, Shakespeare's famous line, "To be or not to be," could be paraphrased as, "Is it better to exist or not exist at all?"

  6. Paraphrasing

    A paraphrase restates another's idea (or your own previously published idea) in your own words. Paraphrasing allows you to summarize and synthesize information from one or more sources, focus on significant information, and compare and contrast relevant details.

  7. Paraphrasing Tool

    Our rewording tool is free and easy to use—with just the click of a button, the paraphrasing tool will rephrase your sentence, paragraph, essay, or article to your liking, with many options available to customize and perfect the reworded text. Millions are becoming better writers

  8. nlp

    WRPA stands for "Relational Paraphrase Acquisition from Wikipedia" corpus. The WRPA corpus contains relational paraphrases extracted by the WRPA system from Wikipedia. It has several types of relational paraphrases. By which the authors mean to the are paraphrases about a particular relations.

  9. Free Paraphrasing Tool

    Paraphrase a whole text. Our paraphraser can also help with longer passages (up to 125 words per input). Upload your document or copy your text into the input field. With one click, you can reformulate the entire text.

  10. How to Paraphrase Statistical Data?

    Paraphrasing means that you are reciting the same information in your own words, but you must give credit to the original source. Paraphrases should always include both the author and the year. You can do this through parenthetical citation or using footnotes.

  11. Definition of Paraphrase

    1. Use paraphrase to present information or evidence whenever there is no special reason for using a direct quotation. . . . 2. Use paraphrase to give your readers an accurate and comprehensive account of ideas taken from a source--ideas that you intend to explain, interpret, or disagree with in your essay. . . .

  12. Paraphrase Definition & Meaning

    Britannica Dictionary definition of PARAPHRASE. : to say (something that someone else has said or written) using different words. [+ object] He paraphrased the quote. She frequently paraphrases (the words of) famous authors in her lectures. [no object] I'm paraphrasing, but he did say something like that. 2 paraphrase / ˈ perəˌfreɪz/ noun ...

  13. Paraphrase

    paraphrase: 1 v express the same message in different words Synonyms: rephrase , reword Types: translate express, as in simple and less technical language Type of: ingeminate , iterate , reiterate , repeat , restate , retell to say, state, or perform again n rewording for the purpose of clarification Synonyms: paraphrasis Types: translation ...

  14. PARAPHRASING definition

    paraphrasing meaning: 1. present participle of paraphrase 2. to repeat something written or spoken using different words…. Learn more.

  15. The Writing Center

    Paraphrasing is stating an idea or passage in your own words. You must significantly change the wording, phrasing, and sentence structure (not just a few words here and there) of the source. These also must be noted with in-text citations and the reference page. You want to report numerical data or statistics (preferred in APA papers)

  16. What is Paraphrasing?

    Simply, to paraphrase is to take information from a source and put it into one's own words. In general, paraphrases are approximately the same length as the original information, which...


    paraphrase verb [ T ] us / ˈpær·əˌfreɪz / to state something written or spoken in different words, esp. in a shorter and simpler form to make the meaning clearer: I'll have to paraphrase it because I didn't get a chance to memorize it. (Definition of paraphrase from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

  18. QuillBot's Guide to Paraphrasing

    The word "paraphrase" has two definitions, depending on the part of speech it represents in the sentence. As a verb, "to paraphrase" means "to express the meaning of the writer or speaker (or something written or spoken) using different words, especially to achieve greater clarity."

  19. What is Paraphrasing and How to Paraphrase the Right Way

    How to Paraphrase: 5-Step Process for Paraphrasing. Read the passage - Once you plan to paraphrase a paragraph or sentence, read the passage thoroughly and understand its core meaning. Write it in your own words - Keep the passage aside and write it in your own words. Use synonyms, change the structure of the sentences or change the words ...

  20. What Is a Paraphrase?

    Paraphrases are sentences or phrases that convey the same meaning using different wording. Although the logical definition of paraphrases requires strict semantic equivalence, linguistics accepts a broader, approximate, equivalence—thereby allowing far more examples of "quasi-paraphrase." But approximate equivalence is hard to define.

  21. Paraphrase

    A paraphrase of the Book of Daniel placing in parallel prophecy and interprephrases. A paraphrase ( / ˈpærəˌfreɪz /) is a restatement of the meaning of a text or passage using other words. The term itself is derived via Latin paraphrasis, from Ancient Greek παράφρασις (paráphrasis) 'additional manner of expression'.

  22. Free Paraphrasing For All Languages

    Paraphrasing is a natural part of the writing process as it helps you clarify your thinking and suit your words to your audience. Using a . Paraphrase Tool helps structure and streamline this work, and our paraphrase tool offers 20 modes, many of them free, for accomplishing just this. The 20 modes we offer are diverse, including a summarize ...