• synonyms


[fahy-fi-nom-uh-non, -nuh n]
noun, plural phi-phe·nom·e·na [fahy-fi-nom-uh-nuh] /ˈfaɪ fɪˌnɒm ə nə/. Psychology.
  1. motion perceived by a subject, especially the illusion of movement produced when stationary stimuli, as pictures or lights, are presented in rapid succession and are sometimes in slightly different positions.
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Origin of phi-phenomenon

First recorded in 1925–30
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for phi-phenomenon


noun plural -na (-nə) psychol
  1. the illusion that when two lights are rapidly turned on and off in succession something appears to move backwards and forwards between them while the lights stay stationary
  2. a similar illusion in which one light appears to move smoothly backwards and forwards
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Word Origin for phi-phenomenon

C20: arbitrary use of Greek phi
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