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paraphrase (verb) state in a shorter or simpler way what someone has said or written.
When you paraphrase a piece of writing, you use different words to state in a shorter and simpler manner what has been written. The purpose is to make it more easily understood. You paraphrase someone's speech if you express in different words their important ideas, and make them easy to understand. To paraphrase of a passage of prose or a poem is to express in a simpler manner the content of the passage or of the poem.
- He paraphrased it very badly. He has tried to make the passage simpler and easier, but he has missed some important ideas in the original.
- One of the important duties of the personal secretary of the president is to paraphrase for him all the reports about him in the newspapers. He hasn't the time to go through the detailed reports himself.