periphrasis; noun

use of a longer phrasing in place of a possible shorter form of expression

an instance of periphrasis

Example Sentence:

The college English teacher warned her students against padding their essays with periphrases solely to reach the required length.

Did you know?

It’s easy enough to point out the origins of “periphrasis”: the word was borrowed into English in the early 16th century via Latin from Greek “periphrazein,” which in turn comes from the prefix “peri-,” meaning “all around,” and the verb “phrazein,” “to point out.” Two common descendants of “phrazein” in English are “phrase” and “paraphrase,” the latter of which combines “phrazein” with the prefix “para-,” meaning “closely resembling.”