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Definitions

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

  • n. Mythology A bird in Egyptian mythology that lived in the desert for 500 years and then consumed itself by fire, later to rise renewed from its ashes.
  • n. A person or thing of unsurpassed excellence or beauty; a paragon.
  • n. A constellation in the Southern Hemisphere near Tucana and Sculptor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A mythological bird, said to be the only one of its kind, which lives for 500 years and then dies by burning to ashes on a pyre of its own making, ignited by the sun. It then arises anew from the ashes.
  • n. Anything that is reborn after apparently being destroyed. Usually used as a simile.

Etymologies

Middle English fenix, from Old English from Old French, both from Medieval Latin fēnix, from Latin phoenix, from Greek phoinix.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin phoenīx, from Ancient Greek φοῖνιξ (phoĩnix), from Egyptian bnw (boinu, "grey heron"). The grey heron was venerated at Heliopolis and associated in Egypt with the cyclical renewal of life because the bird rises in flight at dawn and migrates back every year in the flood season to inhabit the Nile waters. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • John McCain's Secret Service code name...

    November 15, 2008

  • this reminds me of the paper in harry potter :)
    i love it.

    October 2, 2008

  • "Soaring into the sky like a spirit from the flames who has been kissed by the sun, the beautiful and bewitching Phoenix is as impossible to defeat as her mythical namesake. And just when a competitor has fooled herself into believing she’s got a chance, this dangerous bird of prey rises with talons fully extended to shred anyone into submission."

    (Official biography on the NBC American Gladiator website)

    September 6, 2008

  • Reminds me of the Phoenix Wright videogame series. The protagonist is seriously cute. In a very personal sense it means recovery.

    Appears as a symbol in Fahrenheit 451.

    August 1, 2007

  • Also, a web browser I feel particularly nostalgic about.

    April 18, 2007

  • VARIANT FORMS: also phe·nix

    NOUN: 1. Mythology A bird in Egyptian mythology that lived in the desert for 500 years and then consumed itself by fire, later to rise renewed from its ashes. 2. A person or thing of unsurpassed excellence or beauty; a paragon. 3. Phoenix, a constellation in the Southern Hemisphere near Tucana and Sculptor.

    ETYMOLOGY: Middle English fenix, from Old English from Old French, both from Medieval Latin fnix, from Latin phoenix, from Greek phoinix.

    April 18, 2007