[fal-uh s]
noun, plural phal·li [fal-ahy] /ˈfæl aɪ/, phal·lus·es.
  1. an image of the male reproductive organ, especially that carried in procession in ancient festivals of Dionysus, or Bacchus, symbolizing the generative power in nature.
  2. Anatomy. the penis, the clitoris, or the sexually undifferentiated embryonic organ out of which either of these develops.

Origin of phallus

1605–15; < Latin < Greek phallós penis Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for phalluses

Contemporary Examples of phalluses

British Dictionary definitions for phalluses


noun plural -luses or -li (-laɪ)
  1. another word for penis
  2. an image of the penis, esp as a religious symbol of reproductive power

Word Origin for phallus

C17: via Late Latin from Greek phallos
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for phalluses



1610s, "an image of the penis," from Latin phallus, from Greek phallos "penis," also "carving or image of an erect penis (symbolizing the generative power in nature) used in the cult of Dionysus," from PIE *bhel-no-, from root *bhel- (2) "to blow, inflate, swell" (cf. Old Norse boli "bull," Old English bulluc "little bull," and possibly Greek phalle "whale;" see bole). Used of the penis itself (often in symbolic context) from 1924, originally in jargon of psychoanalysis.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

phalluses in Medicine


n. pl. phal•lus•es
  1. The penis.
  2. The sexually undifferentiated tissue in an embryo that becomes the penis or clitoris.
  3. The immature penis considered in psychoanalysis as the libidinal object of infantile sexuality in the male.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.