Part of speech: noun
Origin: Greek, 19th century
The expression of a whole phrase in a single word — for example, “howdy” for “how do you do.”
Examples of Holophrasis in a sentence
"Preschool teachers have to decipher various forms of holophrasis from their students."
"William’s preferred method of speech seemed to be holophrasis."
Popularity Over Time
This word is a combination of “holo-,” from the Greek “holos,” meaning "whole, entire, complete” plus the Latinized form of the Greek “phrastikos,” originally from “phrazein,” meaning "to indicate, tell, express."
Did you Know?
Toddlers go through a stage where holophrasis makes up a majority of their vocabulary. Combined with tone of voice and and body language, their use of single words tends to get the message across effectively. For instance, if a toddler says “up” with his arms raised in the air, he likely wants you to pick him up. Holophrasis is essentially the backbone of a child’s vocabulary.