The OED defines the verb paraphrase thus: to express the meaning of (a word, phrase, passage or work) in other words, usually with the object of fuller and clearer exposition Here's another statement (or paraphrase) of that, from the Webster's Unabridged: a restatement of a text or passage giving the meaning in another form, as for clearness ---------------- The ability to accurately paraphrase something is a sure indication that you understand what it means. Here are some random quotes. Can you paraphrase them? 1. "To give formal recognition to standards and to adopt them as the guiding lines of action in the teeth of all the adversities of a changing situation are two very different things - as the impartial observer may see particularly in the history of religious institutions." 2."Tate piloted his Lexus back through Centreville, which some of the redder of the rednecks around these parts disparagingly called New Calcutta and New Seoul - because of the immigrants settling here." 3." While Leonardo was thus trying to establish the laws of hydrostatics, he did not lose sight of the importance of studying fluid motion, since it was common knowledge that when the flow of water is deviated or prevented, a pressure is created which, if devestating at times, may also be put to profitable use." 4."Lovers and madmen have such seething brains, Such shaping fantasies that apprehend more than cool reason ever comprehends." 5."It was fortifying, therefore, that they could count on the moral support of a man like Einstein; however wooly his proposals for action might be, he was a man whom most felt, and usually with good reason, sensed right from wrong with almost uncanny intuition." I think it will be challenging for people to pick one, or a couple and paraphrase them. Post the result.