phe·​nom | \ ˈfē-ˌnäm How to pronounce phenom (audio) , fi-ˈnäm How to pronounce phenom (audio) \

Definition of phenom

: phenomenon especially : a person of phenomenal ability or promise

Examples of phenom in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web While there are plenty of young men and women making moves in the skateboarding world, Brown leads the pack as a phenom. Calum Trenaman And Celine Ramseyer, CNN, "10 young athletes to watch in 2020," 9 Jan. 2020 Jackson established himself as a phenom in 2019, and will likely earn NFL MVP honors. Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland, "Baker Mayfield regressed as Freddie Kitchens learned on the job, and fixing QB must be Browns’ No. 1 priority," 28 Dec. 2019 The topic came up time and again as Herta’s son, now a 19-year-old phenom in the series, dazzled in every session. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: IndyCar closes season feeling relevant again," 23 Sep. 2019 Adding a rookie phenom in June and another ace in July only accentuated what few didn’t already assume — Houston was again the class of the American League West. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros claim third straight AL West title," 22 Sep. 2019 Extra bases Rookie phenom Scott Kingery wasn’t in the starting lineup for the second time in 11 games, part of Kapler’s plan to provide each player with periodic rest throughout the season. Scott Lauber,, "Phillies, Rhys Hoskins don't panic with two strikes," 20 Apr. 2018 Inevitably, the platform’s well-respected fashion empress, Eva Chen, went from being an industry phenom to a celeb in her own right, thanks to both her tastemaking power and her seriously adorable small children. Faran Krentcil, Harper's BAZAAR, "12 Ways Fashion Was Defined in the 2010s," 19 Dec. 2019 Along with introducing acting/singing phenom Auli’i Cravalho to the world, Moana also debuted a young princess who puts her own life on the line to save her people. Sydney Bucksbaum,, "The evolution of Disney Princesses, from Snow White to Frozen 2," 21 Nov. 2019 The 25-year-old booked her spot in the semifinals from the Purple Group, but she won't be joined by teen phenom Bianca Andreescu. Ravi Ubha, CNN, "Svitolina advances at WTA Finals as injured Andreescu eliminated," 30 Oct. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of phenom

1881, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about phenom

Time Traveler for phenom

Time Traveler

The first known use of phenom was in 1881

See more words from the same year

Statistics for phenom

Last Updated

16 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Phenom.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for phenom


How to pronounce phenom (audio) How to pronounce phenom (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of phenom

US, informal : a person who is very good at doing something (such as a sport)

More from Merriam-Webster on phenom

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with phenom

Comments on phenom

What made you want to look up phenom? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to insert between existing elements

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!