phe·​nom·​e·​nol·​o·​gy | \fi-ˌnä-mə-ˈnä-lə-jē \
plural phenomenologies

Definition of phenomenology 

1 : the study of the development of human consciousness and self-awareness as a preface to or a part of philosophy

2a(1) : a philosophical movement that describes the formal structure of the objects of awareness and of awareness itself in abstraction from any claims concerning existence

(2) : the typological classification of a class of phenomena the phenomenology of religion

b : an analysis produced by phenomenological investigation

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Other Words from phenomenology

phenomenologist \ fi-​ˌnä-​mə-​ˈnä-​lə-​jist \ noun

Examples of phenomenology in a Sentence

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Everybody liked a little pick-me-up, especially after one of Merleau-Ponty’s strenuous and long expositions on phenomenology. Longreads, "When Sartre and Beauvoir Started a Magazine," 10 Apr. 2018 Andrija Puharich is the pioneer of the book, the man who monetized and institutionalized psychic phenomenology. Dick Teresi, New York Times, "The Truth Is Out There, and the Feds Paid to Find It," 25 Apr. 2017 Mayberg’s work, for instance, reveals something vital about both the physiology and phenomenology of depression — namely, that depression is not simply an absence or a lack but the instantiation of a network run amok. David Dobbs, WIRED, "Flickering Lights: One-Shot Wonders versus the Network Model," 4 July 2006

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'phenomenology.' 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 phenomenology

circa 1797, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for phenomenology

German Phänomenologie, from Phänomenon phenomenon + -logie -logy

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The first known use of phenomenology was circa 1797

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phe·​nom·​e·​nol·​o·​gy | \fi-ˌnäm-ə-ˈnäl-ə-jē \
plural phenomenologies

Medical Definition of phenomenology 

: the way in which one perceives and interprets events and one's relationship to them in contrast both to one's objective responses to stimuli and to any inferred unconscious motivation for one's behavior also : a psychology based on the theory that phenomenology determines behavior

Other Words from phenomenology

phenomenological \ fi-​ˌnäm-​ən-​ᵊl-​ˈäj-​i-​kəl \ adjective

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full of whispering sounds

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