phoe·​nix | \ˈfē-niks \

Definition of phoenix 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a legendary bird which according to one account lived 500 years, burned itself to ashes on a pyre, and rose alive from the ashes to live another period also : a person or thing likened to the phoenix


geographical name
Phoe·​nix | \ˈfē-niks \

Definition of Phoenix (Entry 2 of 2)

city on the Salt River in Arizona population 1,445,632

Note: Phoenix is Arizona's capital and its most populous city.

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Other Words from phoenix


phoenixlike \ ˈfē-​niks-​ˌlīk \ adjective

Geographical name

Phoenician \ fē-​ˈni-​shən \ noun

Examples of phoenix in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The green phoenix roll was a poetic beauty of delightfully crunchy tempura shrimp, wrapped in soy paper with salmon and avocado. Tim Smith,, "Miku Sushi and Steakhouse a pleasant haven in Cockeysville," 12 July 2018 Like a phoenix, what were once Taco Macs in Marietta and Woodstock are being born anew. Ben Brasch, ajc, "Taco Mac is returning to Marietta, Woodstock soon," 17 May 2018 Maybe this is, ultimately, a show about chasing resurrection, about finding a phoenix within who too often fails to raise her head. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "GLOW season 2 is less than the sum of its parts. But those parts are amazing.," 29 June 2018 In Chinese mythology, the motif is often depicted with a phoenix and a dragon; potent symbols of reincarnation and immortality. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "This Textile Has Been All Over Vogue—Here’s Where It Came From," 1 June 2018 Scorpios are associated with the phoenix, the mythological creature who rises from the ashes. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What June's Scorpio Horoscope Means for You," 29 May 2018 Like a phoenix bursting forth from purple ashes, Wendell managed to defeat rival Angela Perkins in the fiery showdown, securing a spot in the finals. Josh Wigler, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Survivor Ghost Island': Season 36 Winner Revealed," 23 May 2018 More parks with partners Like Sugarloaf Ridge Regional Park, other state parks, historic sites and recreation areas threatened with closure in 2011 have also risen, phoenix like, from the ashes of a grim financial future. Harriot Manley, San Francisco Chronicle, "Volunteers, nonprofits reviving some California state parks," 9 May 2018 But the show would rise like a confetti-spewing Fiesta phoenix for a NIOSA revival in 1979, followed by its current run that’s been going strong since 1982. René A. Guzman, San Antonio Express-News, "Cornyation raucous fun this year, with tickets still available," 24 Apr. 2018

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for phoenix


Middle English fenix, from Old English, from Latin phoenix, from Greek phoinix

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Statistics for phoenix

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Time Traveler for phoenix

The first known use of phoenix was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for phoenix



English Language Learners Definition of phoenix

: a magical bird in ancient stories that lives for 500 years before it burns itself to death and then is born again from its ashes


phoe·​nix | \ˈfē-niks \

Kids Definition of phoenix

: a legendary bird which was thought to live for 500 years, burn itself to death, and rise newborn from the ashes

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More from Merriam-Webster on phoenix

Spanish Central: Translation of phoenix

Nglish: Translation of phoenix for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of phoenix for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about phoenix

Comments on phoenix

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


something that serves to warn or remind

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