Definition of to coin a phrase in English:

to coin a phrase


  • 1Said ironically when introducing a banal remark or cliché.

    ‘I had to find out the hard way—to coin a phrase’
    • ‘It is clear that at one level the British and Irish Lions are a huge money-making machine that is of almost inconceivable value to whoever they happen to be visiting, but Feehan insists that, to coin a phrase, it isn't about the money.’
    • ‘He is, to coin a phrase, a bankable proposition.’
    • ‘Her latest book, A Life On The Wolds (Ridings Publishing, £5.50) is, to coin a phrase, an every day tale of country folk.’
    • ‘A couple of years ago I gave a paper to the No 10 Policy Unit on choice, and how the government was, to coin a phrase, talking the talk but not walking the walk.’
    • ‘Fixing this is, to coin a phrase, a long, hard slog.’
    • ‘But how do you suddenly rid yourself of all your partisan opinions and become, to coin a phrase, fair and balanced?’
    • ‘It really is poor, isn't it: the BBC imagining that lavish costumes and period detail will substitute for innovation or, to coin a phrase, relevance, but even at its worst still streets ahead of ITV's lacklustre efforts.’
    • ‘Since the dissimilarities between Communism and Conservatism could not be greater; what would be the result, if they were, to coin a phrase, ‘shaken, not stirred’, together.’
    • ‘The grounds of Ballybeggan Park was the venue for one of the fun events of the year and, to coin a phrase, a great night was had by all.’
    • ‘Sport, to coin a phrase, has become a political football.’
    1. 1.1Said when introducing a new expression or a variation on a familiar one.
      • ‘Saturday was a funny day in Cork, a day of two halves, to coin a phrase.’
      • ‘In most cases, the proof is - to coin a phrase - in the production.’
      • ‘All you have to do is put the bottle outside the plane for a minute or two, it's minus 45 or something, enough to freeze the nurglers off a predatory puma, to coin a phrase.’
      • ‘It's tough out there and only the paranoid survive, to coin a phrase.’
      • ‘The Church, to coin a phrase, is a gluten for self punishment.’
      • ‘In two fell swoops, to coin a phrase, the credibility of professional rugby in Scotland was heavily boosted last week.’
      • ‘The opening music creeps in on little cat feet, to coin a phrase.’
      • ‘Well, one man's ‘philanthropist’ is another man's Richard Mellon Scaife, to coin a phrase.’
      • ‘Incorporating all of the aspects that you left outside when you were building the house of the self, to coin a phrase.’
      • ‘Without that matter being addressed, there is a danger that frankly, to coin a phrase, the deckchairs around the Titanic control room are being reorganised.’