Phi Beta Kappa

Phi Be·ta Kap·pa

noun \ˌfī-ˌbā-tə-ˈka-pə\

: a special society for students who do excellent academic work at a college or university in the U.S.

: a person who is a member of Phi Beta Kappa

Full Definition of PHI BETA KAPPA

:  a person winning high scholastic distinction in an American college or university and being elected to membership in a national honor society founded in 1776

Examples of PHI BETA KAPPA

  1. He belongs to Phi Beta Kappa.
  2. He made Phi Beta Kappa his sophomore year.
  3. He's a Phi Beta Kappa.


Phi Beta Kappa (Society), from phi + beta + kappa, initials of the society's Greek motto philosophia biou kybernētēs philosophy the guide of life
First Known Use: 1912

Phi Beta Kappa

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Leading academic honour society in the U.S., which draws its membership from college and university students. The oldest Greek-letter society in the U.S., it was founded in 1776 as a secret literary and philosophical society at the College of William and Mary. It became an honour society in the 19th century. Membership is now based on general scholarship, and new members are usually elected by Phi Beta Kappa faculty.


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