phoe·​nix | \ ˈfē-niks How to pronounce phoenix (audio) \

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 How to pronounce Phoenix (audio) \

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 How to pronounce phoenixlike (audio) \ adjective

Geographical name

Phoenician \ fē-​ˈni-​shən How to pronounce Phoenician (audio) \ noun

Examples of phoenix in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Rising like the phoenix The past two years were a nightmare for crypto exchanges in India. Prathamesh Mulye, Quartz India, "Cryptocurrencies make a solid comeback in India despite a hostile environment," 27 May 2020 In 1995 his firm began supplying a Japanese coffin-maker with panels decorated with phoenixes and lotus flowers. The Economist, "Chaguan A small town in China makes half of Japan’s coffins," 14 May 2020 But that fall, an 8-bit phoenix rose from these cartridge ashes: the Nintendo Entertainment System (or NES). William Herkewitz, Popular Mechanics, "Cracking the Chip: How Hacking the NES Made It Even Better," 3 May 2020 The phoenix flag was waving above City Hall when the 1906 earthquake and fire decimated the city once again. Peter Hartlaub,, "The flag San Francisco needs is flying, with a phoenix for our post-coronavirus rebirth," 29 Apr. 2020 There is talk in the town of a new club, a phoenix team, arising once old Bury’s last rites are read. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Their Soccer Club Vanished. They Kept Coming.," 3 Dec. 2019 He was convinced by Twitter personality Burrito Justice to include the phoenix. Peter Hartlaub,, "The flag San Francisco needs is flying, with a phoenix for our post-coronavirus rebirth," 29 Apr. 2020 But Affleck, the proud owner of an ass-to-neck phoenix tattoo, is blond now. Neha Prakash, Marie Claire, "Ben Affleck Went Blond for a New Film Role," 28 Feb. 2020 Illenium's signature phoenix rises from the destruction. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Illenium & Jon Bellion's 'Good Things Fall Apart' Is a Sci-Fi Adventure With a Message: Watch," 10 June 2019

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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Time Traveler for phoenix

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for phoenix

Last Updated

8 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Phoenix.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for phoenix


How to pronounce Phoenix (audio)

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 How to pronounce phoenix (audio) \

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

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