Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A distinct stage of development.
  • noun A temporary manner, attitude, or pattern of behavior.
  • noun An aspect; a part.
  • noun One of the cyclically recurring apparent shapes of the visibly illuminated portion of the moon or a planet.
  • noun The relative configuration, measured in angular units such as degrees or radians, of two orbiting bodies that periodically eclipse.
  • noun A particular stage in a periodic process or phenomenon.
  • noun The fraction of a complete cycle elapsed as measured from a specified reference point and often expressed as an angle.
  • noun Any of the forms or states, solid, liquid, gas, or plasma, in which matter can exist, depending on temperature and pressure.
  • noun A discrete homogeneous part of a material system that is mechanically separable from the rest, as is ice from water.
  • noun Biology A characteristic form, appearance, or stage of development that occurs in a cycle or that distinguishes some individuals of a group.
  • transitive verb To plan or carry out systematically by phases.
  • transitive verb To set or regulate so as to be synchronized.
  • idiom (in phase) In a correlated or synchronized way.
  • idiom (out of phase) In an unsynchronized or uncorrelated way.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • A bad spelling of faze.
  • noun Aspect, appearance, or guise; the aspect or presentation in which a thing of varying modes or conditions manifests itself to the eye or the mind, or the stage in its history or development which it reaches at a particular time; an era: as, the war entered on a new phase; the varying phases of life.
  • noun In astronomy, the particular appearance presented by the moon or by a planet at a given time; one of the recurring appearances of the moon or a planet in respect to the apparent form of the illuminated part of its disk.
  • noun In physics, a particular value, especially at the zero of time, of the uniformly varying angular quantity upon which a simple harmonic motion, or a simple element of a harmonic motion, depends.
  • noun In statistical mechanics, the condition of a system with respect to configuration and velocity.
  • noun In mathematics, the angle made with the positive ray of the x-axis by the radius vector from the origin to the point representing a complex number, taken between O and 2 π or between — π and + π; the amplitude or argument a in the trigonometric form of a complex number, ρ (cos α + i sin α).
  • noun In electricity, the time or angle at which an electric wave reaches a certain relative value, as the maximum or zero.
  • noun In physical chemistry, one of the different homogeneous substances of which a heterogeneous thermodynamic system consists. If ice and salt are mixed there soon exist three homogeneous substances in the system, namely, brine, ice, and solid salt. All the ice existing at a given moment is one phase, all the solid salt existing at that moment is a second phase, and the brine produced up to that moment is a third phase.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb Colloq., Archaic To disturb the composure of; to disconcert; to nonplus; -- an older spelling, now replaced by faze.
  • noun That which is exhibited to the eye; the appearance which anything manifests, especially any one among different and varying appearances of the same object.
  • noun Any appearance or aspect of an object of mental apprehension or view.
  • noun (Astron.) A particular appearance or state in a regularly recurring cycle of changes with respect to quantity of illumination or form of enlightened disk. See Illust. under Moon.
  • noun (Physics) Any one point or portion in a recurring series of changes, as in the changes of motion of one of the particles constituting a wave or vibration; one portion of a series of such changes, in distinction from a contrasted portion, as the portion on one side of a position of equilibrium, in contrast with that on the opposite side.
  • noun (Phys. Chem.) A homogenous, physically distinct portion of matter in a system not homogeneous. A phase may be either a single chemical substance or a mixture, as of gases.
  • noun (Zoöl.) In certain birds and mammals, one of two or more color variations characteristic of the species, but independent of the ordinary seasonal and sexual differences, and often also of age. Some of the herons which appear in white and colored phases, and certain squirrels which are sometimes uniformly blackish instead of the usual coloration, furnish examples. Color phases occur also in other animals, notably in butterflies.
  • noun (Elec.) The relation at any instant of a periodically varying electric magnitude, as electro-motive force, a current, etc., to its initial value as expressed in factorial parts of the complete cycle. It is usually expressed in angular measure, the cycle beb four right angles, or 360°. Such periodic variations are generally well represented by sine curves; and phase relations are shown by the relative positions of the crests and hollows of such curves. Magnitudes which have the same phase are said to be in phase.
  • noun (Physics) the relation at any instant of any cyclically varying physical quantity, such as voltage in an A.C. circuit, an electromagnetic wave, a sound wave, or a rotating object, to its initial value as expressed as a fractional part of the complete cycle. It is usually expressed in angular measure, the complete cycle being 360°.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A distinguishable part of a sequence or cycle occurring over time.
  • noun That which is exhibited to the eye; the appearance which anything manifests, especially any one among different and varying appearances of the same object.
  • noun Any appearance or aspect of an object of mental apprehension or view.
  • noun astronomy A particular appearance or state in a regularly recurring cycle of changes with respect to quantity of illumination or form, or the absence, of its enlightened disk; as, the phases of the moon or planets. Illustrated in Wikipedia's article Lunar phase.
  • noun physics Any one point or portion in a recurring series of changes, as in the changes of motion of one of the particles constituting a wave or vibration; one portion of a series of such changes, in distinction from a contrasted portion, as the portion on one side of a position of equilibrium, in contrast with that on the opposite side.
  • noun physical chemistry A component in a material system that is distinguished by chemical composition and/or physical state (solid, liquid or gas) and/or crystal structure. It is delineated from an adjoining phase by an abrupt change in one or more of those conditions.
  • noun rugby union The period of play between consecutive breakdowns.
  • noun genetics A haplotype.
  • verb To begin—if construed with "in"—or to discontinue—if construed with out—(doing) something over a period of time (i.e. in phases).
  • verb Common misspelling of faze.
  • verb genetics, informal, transitive To determine haplotypes in (data) when genotypes are known.
  • proper noun obsolete Passover

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a particular point in the time of a cycle; measured from some arbitrary zero and expressed as an angle
  • noun (physical chemistry) a distinct state of matter in a system; matter that is identical in chemical composition and physical state and separated from other material by the phase boundary

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Back-formation from New Latin phasēs, phases of the moon, from Greek phaseis, pl. of phasis, appearance, from phainein, to show; see bhā- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From New Latin phasis, from Ancient Greek φάσις (phásis, "an appearance"), from φάειν (phaein, "to shine"); compare phantasm and see face.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin phase ("passover"), Phasa, from Hebrew פָּסַח (pésach).

Examples

  • In order to divide, the cell must re-enter the cycle in S-phase is short for synthesis phase.

    Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium - Recent changes [en]

  • Well .. actually, beta phase is a term used by Web 2.0 developers for finding bugs and to test new features.

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  • Well .. actually, beta phase is a term used by Web 2.0 developers for finding bugs and to test new features.

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  • Zukowski and Ziegelmeyer said that archeologists requested that the rock be submitted for further laboratory analysis, in what they describe as phase two of their investigation.

    For What It's Worth - a Roswell Stone!

  • Intel also is describing new progress in refining what it calls phase-change memory, a technology that is expected to eventually replace existing ways data is stored on memory chips.

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  • Zukowski and Ziegelmeyer said that archeologists requested that the rock be submitted for further laboratory analysis, in what they describe as phase two of their investigation.

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  • They're standing by to take care of the immediate and short-term phase, which is tents and tarps and blankets and chlorine tablets.

    CNN Transcript Aug 21, 2007

  • They're now going into what they call phase two, that's the penalty phase, to decide what his punishment will be.

    CNN Transcript Jun 16, 2007

  • ROBERTSON: Well, what the Taliban has been trying to do, according to NATO commanders, is turn from a phase one insurgency, which is small groups of armed men, trying to take control of perhaps a road or a strategic road junction, trying to fight limited skirmishes, to ambush convoys, to turn it into what they call a phase two insurgency.

    CNN Transcript Feb 15, 2007

  • But clearly what needed to take place that I argue did not take place in sufficient detail is that what was going to happen in this country the day after combat operations, the day after what we call phase three.

    CNN Transcript Nov 24, 2006

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