I am looking for a word that encapsulates the idea of editing a sentence to make it sound more cohesive, compact and concise.

e.g. "We need to meet on the 11th to discuss our project and afterwards discuss dinner plans together. Then if there is time can we also talk about Jim?"


"We need to meet on the 11th to discuss our project, dinner plans and Jim."

Sorry about a poor example. Is this just called 'Editing'?

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

closed as unclear what you're asking by Edwin Ashworth, MetaEd Jan 11 '18 at 15:35

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  • I've close-voted here because the question requires a condensing element whereas the accepted answer does not. It is unclear what OP really wants. / If 'recast' is acceptable, the question is not appropriate on ELU, as synonyms for 'rephrase' should have been researched. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 11 '18 at 14:05
  • Avoid using comments for a purpose other than improving the post they are attached to. For example, comments can be used to ask the author for clarification, point out problems, or suggest changes. A better place to post an answer is in the answer box. – MetaEd Jan 11 '18 at 15:33
  • Avoid posting questions that do not provide clear criteria for useful answers – criteria that guide both answering and voting. This applies to word requests that lack: (i) objective criteria for accepting answers, including connotation, register, and part of speech; (ii) exact context – generally we want the sentence you’re writing; and (iii) details of research you’ve already done (trips to the thesaurus, etc.) including solutions you’ve already rejected, and why. – MetaEd Jan 11 '18 at 15:35

As an editor, I use the word "recast" to convey this specific meaning, but that usage may be specific to the publishing industry or Australia. From the Macquarie Dictionary:


  1. to cast again or anew.

  2. to provide a new or altered cast for (a play, etc.).

  3. to form, fashion, or arrange again.

  4. to remodel or reconstruct (a literary work, a document, a sentence, etc.).

  • 1
    Google Dictionary includes 'recast' in the synonyms of 'rephrase' : rewrite, rephrase, recast, put differently, put another way, put in other words, express differently, redraft, rework, revise, rescript, edit; paraphrase – Nigel J Jan 10 '18 at 23:45
  • 2
    There may be a logical inference that the aim might well be to make a sentence 'sound more cohesive, compact and concise', but 'recast' does not denote this. In fact, a sentence might have to be lengthened for the sake of clarity. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 10 '18 at 23:54
  • @EdwinAshworth, yes, that's true, but in making comments to authors about proposed changes to their writing "recast" works for me as a catch-all word. I might say "Recast for clarity: ... " And it may well be that I lengthen or conversely turn one sentence into two (or more) to achieve cohesion, compactness and concision. – Livrecache Jan 11 '18 at 1:19

Writers I've worked with tend to use rework, as in "let's rework that sentence, it's much too verbose."

rework, v.: to change something such as a computer program or a piece of writing in order to improve it

  • Again, the 'condensing' element is not denoted here. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 11 '18 at 13:59

For what it's worth, I think I've always been using 'rephrase' in this case:

Express (an idea or question) in an alternative way, especially for the purpose of clarification.

‘rephrase the statement so that it is clear’

From Oxford Dictionaries.


tighten up (okay, it's a phrasal verb rather than a single word)

  • Avoid posting answers that lack explanation, context, and supporting facts. A good expert answer includes this information to demonstrate that it is correct. This is what makes the answer useful – not only to the asker, but to future visitors to the page. – MetaEd Jan 11 '18 at 15:37

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