holophrastic [hol-uh-fras-tik, hoh-luh-] ExamplesWord Origin adjective

  1. using or consisting of a single word that functions as a phrase or sentence.
  2. characterized by holophrasis; polysynthetic: a holophrastic language.

Origin of holophrastic 1855–60; holo- + -phrastic; see periphrastic Examples from the Web for holophrastic Historical Examples of holophrastic

  • Holophrastic, hol-o-fras′tik, adj. bearing the force of a whole phrase, expressive of a sentence or an idea.

    Chambers’s Twentieth Century Dictionary (part 2 of 4: E-M)


  • British Dictionary definitions for holophrastic holophrastic adjective

    1. denoting the stage in a child’s acquisition of syntax when most utterances are single words
    2. (of languages) tending to express in one word what would be expressed in several words in other languages; polysynthetic

    Word Origin for holophrastic C19: from holo- + Greek phrastikos expressive, from phrazein to express Word Origin and History for holophrastic adj.

    1837, from holo- + Greek phrastikos, from phrazein “to indicate, tell, express” (see phrase (n.)).

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