I'm looking for multiple ways to say "Call the Police". When searching the thesaurus, I couldn't find anything. In my head, I can come up with "report to the authorities", or "report a crime", but I don't know the word for these phrases so that I can do more digging and find more examples.

2 Answers 2


I believe "paraphrase" as a noun is the goose you're after.


The word is still synonym.

Following is Merriam-Webster's definition of the word. I am adding my own emphasis to expressions and phrase.

1 : one of two or more words or expressions of the same language that have the same or nearly the same meaning in some or all senses
2 a : a word or phrase that by association is held to embody something (such as a concept or quality)
       // a tyrant whose name has become a synonym for oppression

Note that the second and third example phrases in the question are not synonymous with the first (or even with each other).

The following are synonyms of call the police:

  • contact the cops
  • get in touch with the authorities

But these are not:

  • report to the authorities
  • report a crime

In the original phrase, nothing has actually been said about a report being made, nor about a crime having been committed. It describes a simple action, but makes no assumptions about why the action should be performed.

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