set phrase

set phrase (plural set phrases)

  1. (grammar) An established expression whose wording is subject to little or no variation, and which may or may not be idiomatic.
    • 1951, Gordon M. Messing, "Structuralism and Literary Tradition," Language, volume 27, number 1, page 3:
      Bally remarks in passing, as Hall does not, that the inversion in toujours est-il que is part of a set phrase and hence invariable.
  2. (grammar) An idiomatic expression in general.
    • 1992, Stanislaw Baranczak, "How to Translate Shakespeare's Humor?: (Reflections of a Polish Translator)", in the Performing Arts Journal, volume 14, number 3, page 83:
      If it proves clearly unfeasible to make the audience laugh at a thin and far-fetched joke, it is always better to change the way the joke works . . . for instance, a pun based on the speaker's taking literally some set phrase or metaphor with a pun based on phonetic similarity.
  • Russian: усто́йчивое словосочета́ние

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