Definitions

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

  • n. A distinct stage of development: "The American occupation of Japan fell into three successive phases” ( Edwin O. Reischauer).
  • n. A temporary manner, attitude, or pattern of behavior: just a passing phase.
  • n. An aspect; a part: every phase of the operation.
  • n. Astronomy One of the cyclically recurring apparent forms of the moon or a planet.
  • n. Physics A particular stage in a periodic process or phenomenon.
  • n. Physics The fraction of a complete cycle elapsed as measured from a specified reference point and often expressed as an angle.
  • n. Chemistry Any of the forms or states, solid, liquid, gas, or plasma, in which matter can exist, depending on temperature and pressure.
  • n. Chemistry A discrete homogeneous part of a material system that is mechanically separable from the rest, as is ice from water.
  • n. Biology A characteristic form, appearance, or stage of development that occurs in a cycle or that distinguishes some individuals of a group: the white color phase of a weasel; the swarming phase of locusts.
  • transitive v. To plan or carry out systematically by phases.
  • transitive v. To set or regulate so as to be synchronized.
  • phase in To introduce, one stage at a time.
  • phase out To bring or come to an end, one stage at a time.
  • idiom in phase In a correlated or synchronized way.
  • idiom out of phase In an unsynchronized or uncorrelated way.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. Passover
  • n. A distinguishable part of a sequence or cycle occurring over time.
  • n. That which is exhibited to the eye; the appearance which anything manifests, especially any one among different and varying appearances of the same object.
  • n. Any appearance or aspect of an object of mental apprehension or view.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. The period of play between consecutive breakdowns.
  • n. A haplotype.
  • v. To begin—if construed with "in"—or to discontinue—if construed with out—(doing) something over a period of time (i.e. in phases).
  • v. Common misspelling of faze.
  • v. To determine haplotypes in (data) when genotypes are known.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That which is exhibited to the eye; the appearance which anything manifests, especially any one among different and varying appearances of the same object.
  • n. Any appearance or aspect of an object of mental apprehension or view.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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°.
  • transitive v. To disturb the composure of; to disconcert; to nonplus; -- an older spelling, now replaced by faze.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • A bad spelling of faze.
  • n. In statistical mechanics, the condition of a system with respect to configuration and velocity.
  • n. 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).
  • n. In electricity, the time or angle at which an electric wave reaches a certain relative value, as the maximum or zero.
  • n. 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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a particular point in the time of a cycle; measured from some arbitrary zero and expressed as an angle
  • n. (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
  • n. any distinct time period in a sequence of events
  • v. adjust so as to be in a synchronized condition
  • v. arrange in phases or stages
  • n. (astronomy) the particular appearance of a body's state of illumination (especially one of the recurring shapes of the part of Earth's moon that is illuminated by the sun)

Etymologies

Back-formation from New Latin phasēs, phases of the moon, from Greek phaseis, pl. of phasis, appearance, from phainein, to show.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin phase ("passover"), Phasa, from Hebrew פָּסַח (pésach). (Wiktionary)
From New Latin phasis, from Ancient Greek φάσις (phásis, "an appearance"), from φάειν (phaein, "to shine"); compare phantasm and see face. (Wiktionary)

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]

  • 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.

    Archive 2008-07-01

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

    Archive 2006-12-01

  • 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.

    Intel Enters Competition

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • So what we have done, we've taken a three-pronged approach and we've moved some forces into Baghdad City, we're taking a very deliberate effort there, where we're bringing down the sectarian violence, and thus far in the last two weeks of this new operation which we call phase two of "operation together forward" we're seeing some very promising indications that this portion of the operation is being very successful.

    CNN Transcript Aug 21, 2006

  • This speaks to the quality of what they call phase four studies.

    CNN Transcript Dec 16, 2006

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