One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounrare, historical, archaic
A person who paraphrases a literary work or puts a composition into a different literary form, e.g. by turning prose into verse, or one metre into another. Also: a translator, especially one who makes a literal, word-for-word translation.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Philemon Holland (1552–1637), translator. From post-classical Latin metaphrastes from Byzantine Greek μεταϕράστης from Hellenistic Greek μεταϕράζειν + -της, suffix forming agent nouns.
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