phenomena

noun
phe·​nom·​e·​na | \ fi-ˈnä-mə-nə How to pronounce phenomena (audio) , -ˌnä \
plural phenomenas

Definition of phenomena

nonstandard

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Can phenomena be used as a singular?: Usage Guide

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.

Examples of phenomena in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The show contextualizes current phenomena in America’s charged racial history. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "The 50 Best Podcasts to Listen to Right Now," 20 Dec. 2019 And tracking the timing can help us determine which events may cause later phenomena. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Data from the International Space Station confirms: Lightning is insane," 10 Dec. 2019 Marcus added that the flaking observed earlier this year by amateur astronomers can be explained by regular weather phenomena on the planet. Denise Chow, NBC News, "Jupiter's Great Red Spot has gotten smaller — but researchers say it's here to stay," 26 Nov. 2019 But unexplained phenomena involving Loch Ness predates that fateful drive in 1933. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "The 2,000-Year-Long Search for the Loch Ness Monster," 21 Nov. 2019 In today’s future-facing era, phenomena once relegated to the world of science fiction are starting to edge their way into reality. Zoltan Istvan, Quartz, "Do cyborgs need their own legal rights?," 22 Oct. 2019 The theory arose out of attempts to understand how atoms and molecules interact with light and other radiation, phenomena that classical physics couldn’t explain. Quanta Magazine, "Quantum Theory Rebuilt From Simple Physical Principles," 30 Aug. 2017 In fact, depression and anxiety are physical as well as a political phenomena. Wired, "On Hope (in a Time of Hopelessness)," 27 Nov. 2019 More troublesome are the timefall phenomena that accompany the BTs, and the human enemies who get their jollies from stealing and hoarding cargo. Evan Lewis, EW.com, "Death Stranding is as bizarre as it is innovative," 1 Nov. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of phenomena

1708, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for phenomena

Time Traveler

The first known use of phenomena was in 1708

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Statistics for phenomena

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Phenomena.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/phenomena?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=p&file=phenom15. Accessed 20 January 2020.

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Comments on phenomena

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