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Word of the Day
Saturday, May 19, 2012

Definitions for phatic

  1. Denoting speech used to create an atmosphere of goodwill.

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Citations for phatic
We conduct phatic discourse indispensable to maintaining a constant connection among speakers; but phatic speech is indispensable precisely because it keeps the possibility of communication in working order, for the purpose of other and more substantial communications. Umberto Eco, Travels in Hyperreality
They're just filling the air with noise. This is what's called phatic speech. "How are you?" they might ask. Adriana Lopez, Fifteen Candles
Origin of phatic
Coined by the anthropologist Bronisław Malinowski, phatic was first used in 1923. It probably comes from the Greek word phatos meaning "spoken."