\ ˈfāz How to pronounce phase (audio) \

Definition of phase

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a particular appearance or state in a regularly recurring cycle of changes phases of the moon
2a : a distinguishable part in a course, development, or cycle the early phases of her career
b : an aspect or part (as of a problem) under consideration
3 : the point or stage in a period of uniform circular motion, harmonic motion, or the periodic changes of any magnitude varying according to a simple harmonic law to which the rotation, oscillation, or variation has advanced from its standard position or assumed instant of starting
4 : a homogeneous, physically distinct, and mechanically separable portion of matter present in a nonhomogeneous physicochemical system
5 : an individual or subgroup distinguishably different in appearance or behavior from the norm of the group to which it belongs also : the distinguishing peculiarity
in phase
: in a synchronized or correlated manner
out of phase
: in an unsynchronized manner : not in correlation


phased; phasing

Definition of phase (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to adjust so as to be in a synchronized condition
2 : to conduct or carry out by planned phases
3 : to introduce in stages usually used with inphase in new models

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Other Words from phase


phasic \ ˈfā-​zik How to pronounce phasic (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for phase

Synonyms: Noun

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Phase and Faze

Phase and faze are homophones (words pronounced alike but different in meaning, derivation, or spelling) that may easily be confused. Despite the similarity in pronunciation, these words bear little semantic resemblance to one another.

Although phase can function as a verb – it is found especially in combinations such as phase out, phase in, and phase into, meaning “to end, begin, etc. in phases” – the word is most commonly encountered as a noun, in which it typically carries a meaning related to steps in a process, cycles, or stages of development (as in “phases of the moon”).

Faze is generally used only as a verb, and means “to daunt or disconcert.” It often appears in negative expressions such as “it didn’t faze her a bit” or “nothing fazes him.”

Examples of phase in a Sentence

Noun The project will be done in three phases. He's in the final phase of treatment now. The building project marks a new phase in the town's development. He has been throwing tantrums a lot, but the doctor says it's just a phase. a calendar based on the phases of the moon
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Moreno voted against the park contract last month because the initial plans did not include a basketball court in the first construction phase. Obed Manuel, Dallas News, "Plans for long-awaited downtown Dallas park move forward, but need to clear one more hurdle," 3 July 2020 During the initial phase of the outbreak, Britain stayed open to travel from viral hot spots like Italy, Spain, and Iran., "England to end quarantine for 50 countries, not US," 3 July 2020 The first phase includes four large buildings, including two 23-story residential towers, and a 5-acre waterfront park. John Shea,, "Where did Willie McCovey statue go? Giants’ ballpark will miss it until 2023," 3 July 2020 The first phase of reopening the popular facility includes access to only the second-floor workout area, where members are required to take separate staircases when arriving and leaving. John Benson, cleveland, "Members slowly returning to reopened Gemini Center in Fairview Park," 3 July 2020 Washington is currently in phase 2 of its reopening plans, and Bowser asked district residents to avoid large crowds and celebrate July 4 at or near their homes. CBS News, "Trump touts massive July 4 fireworks show despite coronavirus concerns," 1 July 2020 Work on the first phase of the museum's $50 million expansion resumed May 11, with construction greenlighted statewide by Whitmer as part of her phased reopening process. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "'A ray of hope': Motown Museum to reopen July 15, four months after the pandemic hit," 28 June 2020 The first phase was to determine where the seven teams not participating in the 24-team postseason format would pick. Richard Morin, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona Coyotes picking No. 1 overall in the draft? Here's how it could happen," 28 June 2020 That memo, distributed by Athletic Director Fred Glass and AD-in-waiting Scott Dolson, outlines the first phase of the cost-savings plan that will address that shortfall. Zach Osterman, The Indianapolis Star, "IU expects near $12 million shortfall, believes it can cover without cutting sports," 26 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In the 1980s, the EPA forced oil companies to phase it out of gasoline, for instance. Matt Simon, Wired, "Your Firework Smoke Could Be Tainted With Lead," 2 July 2020 No exhibition games against opponents are scheduled, but the Reds will phase into intrasquad scrimmages at some point, using players from both sites. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, "Notebook: Cincinnati Reds players report to preseason camp; minor league season canceled," 1 July 2020 The church building is phase one and is the only project approved. Kathy Jumper, al, "Mega home sale in Orange Beach," 28 June 2020 About three weeks later, on June 5, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ went on to phase two reopening, even as daily cases have topped the 1,000 mark and have continued to do so for the past seven days. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, "Did protests fuel COVID-19 cases? Are we already in a second wave? Your coronavirus questions, answered," 14 June 2020 Kohl's has started to phase employees back to its Menomonee Falls headquarters. Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Kohl's wasn't going to cancel its internship program. So, 280 corporate interns will work remotely during the summer of coronavirus," 23 June 2020 The casino will phase in lower-level VIPs over the next week or so and open to the general public June 29. USA TODAY, "Trump going Fourth, college refunds, parks shuttered: News from around our 50 states," 22 June 2020 With oil hovering around $60 per barrel, nothing seemed to phase investors. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "Apple is now worth more than the combined value of the oil and gas majors," 19 June 2020 And the one thing that the Grammys can do to change that is get an influx of a more diverse and younger voting base and phase certain voters out that aren't making music still. Alex Suskind,, "John Legend on his new album, fighting for change, and the letter Bill Withers wrote him," 17 June 2020

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

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First Known Use of phase


1647, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1904, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for phase


New Latin phasis, from Greek, appearance of a star, phase of the moon, from phainein to show (middle voice, to appear) — more at fancy

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Time Traveler for phase

Time Traveler

The first known use of phase was in 1647

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Statistics for phase

Last Updated

7 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Phase.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for phase


How to pronounce phase (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of phase

: a part or step in a process : one part in a series of related events or actions
: a short period of time during which a person behaves in a particular way or likes a particular thing
: the shape of the part of the moon that is visible at different times during a month


\ ˈfāz How to pronounce phase (audio) \

Kids Definition of phase

1 : a step or part in a series of events or actions : stage I have completed the first phase of my training.
2 : the way that the moon or a planet looks to the eye at any time in its series of changes with respect to how it shines The new moon and the full moon are two phases of the moon.


\ ˈfāz How to pronounce phase (audio) \

Medical Definition of phase

1 : a particular appearance or state in a regularly recurring cycle of changes
2 : a distinguishable part in a course, development, or cycle the early phases of a disease
3 : a point or stage in the period of a periodic motion or process (as a light wave or a vibration) in relation to an arbitrary reference or starting point in the period
4 : a homogeneous, physically distinct, and mechanically separable portion of matter present in a nonhomogeneous physicochemical system especially : one of the fundamental states of matter usually considered to include the solid, liquid, and gaseous forms
5 : an individual or subgroup distinguishably different in appearance or behavior from the norm of the group to which it belongs also : the distinguishing peculiarity

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