phal·​lic | \ ˈfa-lik How to pronounce phallic (audio) \

Definition of phallic

1 : of or relating to phallicism a phallic cult
2 : of, relating to, or resembling a phallus
3 : relating to or being the stage of psychosexual development in psychoanalytic theory that follows the anal stage and during which a child becomes interested in his or her own sexual organs

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Other Words from phallic

phallically \ ˈfa-​li-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce phallically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of phallic in a Sentence

The poem is filled with phallic imagery. an ancient Greek phallic symbol representing fertility
Recent Examples on the Web The pine tree-looking ones are vegetative and the rather phallic looking ones are spore-bearing. oregonlive, "Do recently planted blueberries need pruning? Ask an expert," 9 May 2020 Beyond their unsubtle phallic symbolism, missiles are engineered to protect through aggression: lock onto a target, penetrate its defenses, and subdue it in an explosive climax. Andrew Blum, The New Republic, "Why the U.S. Buys Too Many Missiles and Not Enough Masks," 21 Apr. 2020 The mixture of messages — the feminized dryer, the phallic gun — creates a seemingly dissonant pileup of signification that mixes male and female, desire and danger, laughter and heartache. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, "Brad Pitt and the Beauty Trap," 30 Jan. 2020 America carries big-stick energy around the world, a phallic project that places female leaders in the position of trying to replicate these behaviors in order to appear tough or reject them at the risk of appearing soft. Time, "It Matters That Elizabeth Warren Is a Woman. Why Do So Many on the Left Insist That It Doesn't?," 16 Jan. 2020 Thousands of phallic-looking marine worms washed ashore at Drakes Beach in California and have caused quite a stir online. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "This Weird Sea Creature Looks So Familiar, But We Can't Quite Place It," 13 Dec. 2019 These include someone washing a cucumber, copulating wind-up toy rabbits, a phallic fungus, a beaver, the Washington Monument, the pop of a champagne cork, and the sensuous blossoming of a flower. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "The 2010s were a veritable golden age of opening credits in television," 30 Dec. 2019 That might seem like a lengthy period to focus on just one painting, but over the past four-plus centuries, this particular oil-on-panel artwork has endured its fair share of controversy—and not just for its prominent phallic flaps. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Detroit Exhibit Celebrates Bruegel’s ‘The Wedding Dance’ and Its Controversial Codpieces," 13 Dec. 2019 Made of amethyst, bone, faience, glass, turquoise, and umber, and including phallic amulets, scarabs, a woman, a dancing satyr, and a head of Dionysus, they are thought to be the treasure box of a sorceress. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper's magazine, "Findings," 28 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'phallic.' 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 phallic

1704, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for phallic

Time Traveler

The first known use of phallic was in 1704

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Statistics for phallic

Last Updated

16 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Phallic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for phallic


How to pronounce phallic (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of phallic

: of, relating to, or resembling a penis


phal·​lic | \ ˈfal-ik How to pronounce phallic (audio) \

Medical Definition of phallic

1 : of, relating to, or resembling a penis
2 : of, relating to, or characterized by the stage of psychosexual development in psychoanalytic theory following the anal stage and during which a child becomes interested in his or her own sexual organs — compare anal sense 2, genital sense 3, oral sense 3

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More from Merriam-Webster on phallic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with phallic

Spanish Central: Translation of phallic

Nglish: Translation of phallic for Spanish Speakers

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