\ 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 But phase two of the reopening Monday presents new risks, with 300,000 people likely returning to their jobs. Sharon Otterman,, "New York City hired 3,000 workers for contact tracing. It’s not going well.," 21 June 2020 That's when the city will roll out the fourth phase of its reopening plan. Rafael Carranza, azcentral, "Rocky Point reopens to tourists amid COVID-19 pandemic, but its beaches are still closed," 20 June 2020 The play equipment was manufactured by Burke and supplied by Snider Recreation Inc., who was the supplier for the previous playground phase. Laura Bednar, cleveland, "Independence Opens Newly Constructed Section of Liberty Playground," 20 June 2020 The 2020 projects actually constitute the second phase of the township’s downtown improvement efforts. Jarrad Saffren, USA TODAY, "Mount Holly continues to improve High Street business district," 20 June 2020 That phase also would allow businesses including movie theaters, nightclubs and bars to reopen. Fox News, "Miami stumbles behind rest of Florida in economic reopening," 19 June 2020 American farmers are hoping that the phase one trade deal, already weakened by the pandemic’s global economic onslaught, can survive the war of words. NBC News, "Soybean farmers face 'stress, chaos,' as Trump continues to attack China trade deal," 19 June 2020 Beijing is planning to buy more agricultural goods from the United States, in line with the phase one trade deal the two countries agreed to in January, according to a Bloomberg report. Anneken Tappe, CNN, "Stocks roar higher on hopes for US-China trade progress," 19 June 2020 Republicans have criticized Northam for pushing off the start date of phase three. Tyler Arnold, Washington Examiner, "Northam outlines phase 3 reopening guidelines, says Virginia at least a week away from entering it," 19 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 The district plans to phase police out of schools gradually, removing all officers by June 2021. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "Denver school board votes unanimously to remove police from public schools," 12 June 2020 Belgium moved to phase 3 of its plan to lift the lockdown and permitted the reopening of gyms, bars, restaurants religious services and amateur sports. NBC News, "Drive-thru art gallery opens in airport parking garage," 8 June 2020 Rangers opened seven trailheads this week at Point Reyes National Seashore in a wave of reopenings at parks, beaches and watersheds across the Bay Area as access continues to phase in at outdoor recreation sites around the state. Tom Stienstra,, "New wave of park openings topped by Point Reyes trails," 5 June 2020 Metro hopes to phase in the program over several years so that eventually, middle and elementary school students across the region would have free transit passes, including those in Portland Public Schools who are in lower grades. oregonlive, "Metro considers $9 million annual proposal to provide free TriMet passes for Portland area high school students," 3 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

25 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Phase.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 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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