noun \ˈfē-niks\

: a magical bird in ancient stories that lives for 500 years before it burns itself to death and then is born again from its ashes

Full Definition of PHOENIX

:  a legendary bird which according to one account lived 500 years, burned itself to ashes on a pyre, and rose alive from the ashes to live another period; also :  a person or thing likened to the phoenix
phoe·nix·like \-ˌlīk\ adjective

Origin of PHOENIX

Middle English fenix, from Old English, from Latin phoenix, from Greek phoinix
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Mythology and Folklore Terms

elysian, fay, muse, nimbus


geographical name \ˈfē-niks\

Definition of PHOENIX

city of Arizona on Salt River pop 1,445,632
Phoe·ni·cian \fē-ˈni-shən\ noun


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In ancient Egypt and in classical antiquity, a fabulous bird associated with the worship of the sun. The Egyptian phoenix was said to be as large as an eagle, with brilliant scarlet and gold plumage and a melodious cry. Only one phoenix existed at a time, and it lived no less than 500 years. As its end approached, it built a nest of aromatic boughs and spices, set it on fire, and was consumed in the flames. From the pyre was born a new phoenix, which sealed its predecessor's ashes in an egg of myrrh and flew to Heliopolis to deposit them on the altar of the sun god. The phoenix thus symbolized immortality. See also fenghuang.


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