Definition of turn of phrase in US English:

turn of phrase


  • A manner of expression.

    ‘an awkward turn of phrase’
    • ‘Very little (apart from a good man, a good cup of coffee, or a good piece of steak) gives me as much pleasure as a nice turn of phrase, an unexpected pun, or any other clever wordplay.’
    • ‘You have as much chance of hearing an unusual turn of phrase from a politician as you would from a player interview on Football Focus.’
    • ‘For the international market, Sagnier also brings an excellent turn of phrase in English with a sexy accent.’
    • ‘Merchant - his real name was Dennis Williams - who wrote the lyrics to many of Ray's compositions, had an elegant turn of phrase, a genuine concern for his fellow man, and endless energy.’
    • ‘She has a sense of humour, I think it would be fair to say, and a nifty turn of phrase.’
    • ‘From acoustic ballads to blues-inspired rockers, and back to country croons, Rogers' signature chord progressions and raspy vocals are always present, as is his knack for a clever turn of phrase.’
    • ‘He had a wonderful brain and a wonderful turn of phrase and he was so witty.’
    • ‘But one of his political tricks is to lull people into seeing him as a bit of a grey plodder, when suddenly he'll surprise with a devastating turn of phrase, a damaging soundbite and barbed humour.’
    • ‘I haven't read the book so can't comment on its contents beyond noting in passing that Fallaci seems to court controversy and has an ugly turn of phrase.’
    • ‘You know, anybody can use an unfortunate turn of phrase.’
    expression, idiom, choice of words
    View synonyms


turn of phrase

/ˌtərn əv ˈfreɪz//ˌtərn əv ˈfrāz/