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noun 
  1. (grammar) A common expression whose wording is not subject to variation.
    • 1951, Gordon M. Messing, "Structuralism and Literary Tradition," Language, vol. 27, no. 1, p. 3,
    • :Bally remarks in passing, as Hall does not, that the inversion in toujours est-il que is part of a and hence invariable.
      1. (grammar) A common expression whose words cannot be replaced by synonymous words without compromise, compromising the meaning.
    • 1992, Stanislaw Baranczak, "How to Translate Shakespeare's Humor?: (Reflections of a Polish Translator)," Performing Arts Journal, vol. 14, no. 3, p. 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 or metaphor with a pun based on phonetic similarity.

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