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Dec 9, 2010
This week's theme
What to avoid when using words

This week's words
pleonasm
apophasis
sesquipedality
periphrasis
paralipsis

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

periphrasis

PRONUNCIATION:
(puh-RIF-ruh-sis)

MEANING:
noun: A roundabout way of saying something, using more words than necessary.

ETYMOLOGY:
Via Latin, from Greek periphrasis, from periphrazein (to explain around), from peri- (around) + phrazein (to speak, say). First recorded use: 1533.

USAGE:
"Why the lawsuit? Pfizer said it had 'sought the assistance of the Philippine legal system' (an elegant periphrasis, that)."
High Blood; Philippine Daily Inquirer (Manila, Philippines); Nov 19, 2006.

See more usage examples of periphrasis in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I have known a vast quantity of nonsense talked about bad men not looking you in the face. Don't trust that conventional idea. Dishonesty will stare honesty out of countenance, any day in the week, if there is anything to be got by it. -Charles Dickens, novelist (1812-1870)

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