epi·​phe·​nom·​e·​non | \ ˌe-pi-fi-ˈnä-mə-ˌnän How to pronounce epiphenomenon (audio) , -nən \
plural epiphenomena\ ˌe-​pi-​fi-​ˈnä-​mə-​ˌnä How to pronounce epiphenomena (audio) , -​nə \

Definition of epiphenomenon

: a secondary phenomenon accompanying another and caused by it specifically : a secondary mental phenomenon that is caused by and accompanies a physical phenomenon but has no causal influence itself

Examples of epiphenomenon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The new conspiracism is more than simply an offshoot or epiphenomenon of other forces such as authoritarianism or strident populism. N.c., The Economist, "Conspiracy theories are dangerous—here’s how to crush them," 12 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'epiphenomenon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of epiphenomenon

circa 1706, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of epiphenomenon was circa 1706

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Cite this Entry

“Epiphenomenon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epiphenomenon. Accessed 29 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for epiphenomenon


epi·​phe·​nom·​e·​non | \ ˌep-i-fə-ˈnäm-ə-ˌnän, -nən How to pronounce epiphenomenon (audio) \

Medical Definition of epiphenomenon

: an accidental or accessory event or process occurring in the course of a disease but not necessarily related to that disease

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