[ fee-niks ]
/ ˈfi nɪks /
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Sometimes Phoenix . a mythical bird of great beauty fabled to live 500 or 600 years in the Arabian wilderness, to burn itself on a funeral pyre, and to rise from its ashes in the freshness of youth and live through another cycle of years: often an emblem of immortality or of reborn idealism or hope.
genitive Phoe·ni·cis [fee-nahy-sis, -nee-]. /fiˈnaɪ sɪs, -ˈni-/. (initial capital letter)Astronomy. a southern constellation between Hydrus and Sculptor.
a person or thing of peerless beauty or excellence; paragon.
a person or thing that has become renewed or restored after suffering calamity or apparent annihilation.
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Also phe·nix .

Origin of phoenix

First recorded before 900; from Latin, from Greek phoînix “a mythical bird, purple-red color,” Phoenician, “date palm”; replacing Middle English, Old English fēnix, from Medieval Latin; Latin as above

Other definitions for phoenix (2 of 2)

[ fee-niks ]
/ ˈfi nɪks /

Classical Mythology.
  1. the brother of Cadmus and Europa, and eponymous ancestor of the Phoenicians.
  2. a son of Amyntor and Cleobule who became the foster father of Achilles and who fought with the Greek forces in the Trojan War.
a city in and the capital of Arizona, in the central part.
Military. a 13-foot (4-meter), 989-pound (445-kilogram) U.S. Navy air-to-air missile with radar guidance and a range of over 120 nautical miles.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use phoenix in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for phoenix (1 of 3)


US phenix

/ (ˈfiːnɪks) /

a legendary Arabian bird said to set fire to itself and rise anew from the ashes every 500 years
a person or thing of surpassing beauty or quality

Word Origin for phoenix

Old English fenix, via Latin from Greek phoinix; identical in form with Greek Phoinix Phoenician, purple

British Dictionary definitions for phoenix (2 of 3)

/ (ˈfiːnɪks) /

noun Latin genitive Phoenices (ˈfiːnɪˌsiːz)
a constellation in the S hemisphere lying between Grus and Eridanus

British Dictionary definitions for phoenix (3 of 3)

/ (ˈfiːnɪks) /

a city in central Arizona, capital city of the state, on the Salt River. Pop: 1 388 416 (2003 est)
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

Cultural definitions for phoenix (1 of 2)

[ (fee-niks) ]

A mythical bird that periodically burned itself to death and emerged from the ashes as a new phoenix. According to most stories, the rebirth of the phoenix happened every five hundred years. Only one phoenix lived at a time.

notes for phoenix

To “rise like a phoenix from the ashes” is to overcome a seemingly insurmountable setback.

Cultural definitions for phoenix (2 of 2)

[ (fee-niks) ]

Capital city of Arizona.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.