phenomena

noun phe·nom·e·na \ fi-ˈnä-mə-nə , -ˌnä \
Updated on: 6 Dec 2017

Definition of phenomena

plural phenomenas
nonstandard

Can phenomena be used as a singular?

Phenomena has been in occasional use as a singular since the early 18th century, as has the plural phenomenas. Our evidence shows that singular phenomena is primarily a speech form used by poets, critics, and professors, among others, but one that sometimes turns up in edited prose.
    • Although it seemed like a fad a few years ago, Twitter has evolved into a phenomena with more than 200 million users …
    • —Myron P. Medcalf
It is etymologically no more irregular than stamina and agenda, but it has nowhere near the frequency of use that they have, and while they are standard, phenomena is still rather borderline.


Recent Examples of phenomena from the Web

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

First Known Use of phenomena

1708



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