phal·​lus | \ ˈfa-ləs How to pronounce phallus (audio) \
plural phalli\ ˈfa-​ˌlī How to pronounce phallus (audio) , -​ˌlē \ or phalluses

Definition of phallus

1 : a symbol or representation of the penis
2 : penis

Examples of phallus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The phallus is the signified order in our language. Jessica Ferri, Los Angeles Times, 18 Nov. 2021 The logo has already been compared to a pretzel, a Pringle chip, a thigh master, IBM’s design thinking loop, Microsoft Visual Studio’s old avatar, and inevitably, a phallus. Anne Quito, Quartz, 29 Oct. 2021 Millett’s coruscating commentary had revealed how all those self-actualizing Lawrentian women—the schoolmistresses, artists, and suffragists—inevitably yield to the bullying power of the phallus in the end. Kathryn Hughes, The New York Review of Books, 10 Oct. 2019 Okay, but who gets this ridiculous, upside-down phallus trophy? Kristen Baldwin,, 6 July 2021 The giant is not only notable for his tall size but his nakedness, specifically his phallus. Washington Post, 17 May 2021 The prominent phallus of the giant gets a lot of attention, quite rightly. Washington Post, 17 May 2021 Historians theorize that the giant’s prodigious phallus, which measures 26 feet in length, may have been intended as a fertility aid, according to BBC News. David Kindy, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 May 2021 Some of the most important discoveries of his career hinge on the planarian—a type of flatworm about two centimetres long that, under a microscope, resembles a cartoon of a cross-eyed phallus. Matthew Hutson, The New Yorker, 3 May 2021

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

circa 1613, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for phallus

Latin, from Greek phallos penis, representation of the penis; probably akin to Latin flare to blow — more at blow

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Time Traveler for phallus

Time Traveler

The first known use of phallus was circa 1613

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Statistics for phallus

Last Updated

29 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Phallus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for phallus



English Language Learners Definition of phallus

: an image or representation of a penis
: penis


phal·​lus | \ ˈfal-əs How to pronounce phallus (audio) \
plural phalli\ ˈfal-​ˌī How to pronounce phallus (audio) , -​ˌē How to pronounce phallus (audio) \ or phalluses

Medical Definition of phallus

1 : penis
2 : the first embryonic rudiment of the vertebrate penis or clitoris

More from Merriam-Webster on phallus

Nglish: Translation of phallus for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about phallus


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