phase

1 of 2

noun

1
: a particular appearance or state in a regularly recurring cycle of changes
phases of the moon
2
a
: 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
phasic adjective

phase

2 of 2

verb

phased; phasing

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 in
phase in new models
Phrases
in phase
: in a synchronized or correlated manner
out of phase
: in an unsynchronized manner : not in correlation

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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
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Areas impacted by the first phase of redistricting include Glen Burnie, Chesapeake and Old Mill, among several others, according to the district’s website. Kristina Watrobski, Baltimore Sun, 21 June 2024 The recent burst of tornado activity was influenced by the shift away from the Pacific Ocean’s warm phase of its temperature cycle, known as El Niño. Umair Irfan, Vox, 21 June 2024
Verb
That’s what happened when New York phased the minimum wage up to $15 an hour between 2013 and 2019. Eva Roytburg, Fortune, 7 June 2024 The chain is phasing the band out at hundreds of locations by the end of the year. Chase Jordan, Charlotte Observer, 3 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for phase 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'phase.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

1647, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1904, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of phase was in 1647

Dictionary Entries Near phase

Cite this Entry

“Phase.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/phase. Accessed 25 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

phase

1 of 2 noun
1
: a particular appearance or state in a repeating series of changes
phases of the moon
2
: a step or part in a series of events or actions : stage
3
: a particular part or feature (as of an activity, situation, or a subject being considered) : aspect
4
: a physically different portion or kind of matter present in a mixed system
the three phases ice, water, and steam

phase

2 of 2 verb
phased; phasing
1
: to do in steps according to a plan
2
: to introduce in stages
usually used with in
phase in new models

Medical Definition

phase

noun
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

More from Merriam-Webster on phase

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