[ fi-nom-uh-non, -nuhn ]
See synonyms for: phenomenonphenomena on

noun,plural phe·nom·e·na [fi-nom-uh-nuh] /fɪˈnɒm ə nə/ or, especially for 3, phe·nom·e·nons.
  1. a fact, occurrence, or circumstance observed or observable: to study the phenomena of nature.

  2. something that is impressive or extraordinary.

  1. a remarkable or exceptional person; prodigy; wonder.

  2. Philosophy.

    • an appearance or immediate object of awareness in experience.

    • Kantianism. a thing as it appears to and is constructed by the mind, as distinguished from a noumenon, or thing-in-itself.

Origin of phenomenon

First recorded in 1580–90; from Late Latin phaenomenon, from Greek phainómenon “appearance,” noun use of neuter of phainómenos, present participle of phaínesthai “to appear, become visible,” passive of phaínein “to show, bring to light, make known”

Other words for phenomenon

Words that may be confused with phenomenon

Words Nearby phenomenon Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use phenomenon in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for phenomenon


/ (fɪˈnɒmɪnən) /

nounplural -ena (-ɪnə) or -enons
  1. anything that can be perceived as an occurrence or fact by the senses

  2. any remarkable occurrence or person

  1. philosophy

    • the object of perception, experience, etc

    • (in the writings of Kant) a thing as it appears and is interpreted in perception and reflection, as distinguished from its real nature as a thing-in-itself: Compare noumenon

Origin of phenomenon

C16: via Late Latin from Greek phainomenon, from phainesthai to appear, from phainein to show

usage For phenomenon

Although phenomena is often treated as if it were singular, correct usage is to employ phenomenon with a singular construction and phenomena with a plural: that is an interesting phenomenon (not phenomena); several new phenomena were recorded in his notes

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