phatic

[fat-ik]
adjective
  1. denoting speech used to express or create an atmosphere of shared feelings, goodwill, or sociability rather than to impart information: phatic communion.

Origin of phatic

1923; probably < Greek phat(ós) spoken, capable of being spoken (verbid of phánai to speak; cf. prophet) + -ic; coined (in phrase phatic communion) by Bronislaw Malinowski
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British Dictionary definitions for phatic

phatic

adjective
  1. (of speech, esp of conversational phrases) used to establish social contact and to express sociability rather than specific meaning

Word Origin for phatic

C20: from Greek phat (os) spoken + -ic
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 phatic
adj.

1923, coined by Polish-born British anthropologist Bronisław Malinowski (1884-1942) from Greek phatos "spoken, that may be spoken," from phanai "to speak, say" (see fame (n.)) + -ic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper