phoe·​nix ˈfē-niks How to pronounce phoenix (audio)
: 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
phoenixlike adjective

Examples of phoenix in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The most significant bird here, however, isn’t a phoenix. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 24 Nov. 2023 But a mysterious woman named Ash soon challenges his worldview, unlocking a potential of harmony rooted in a winding mythology of phoenixes and fire. Katie Bain, Billboard, 4 Oct. 2023 Where and when the phoenix will rise in a city made famous by the Gold Rush and the dot-com bubble is a question that will likely not be answered for years. Thomas Fuller, New York Times, 30 Aug. 2023 The brand new emoji are a head shaking horizontally, a head shaking vertically, a phoenix, a lime, a brown mushroom, and a broken chain, according to Emojipedia. Jay Peters, The Verge, 14 Sep. 2023 The school’s athletic teams (the school mascot is a phoenix) compete in several Division 1 sports. Stephen Pastis, Fortune, 12 Aug. 2023 Reddit users on r/phoenix noticed a message on Fry’s website advising of new rules. The Arizona Republic, 7 Aug. 2023 The city’s official symbol, a phoenix rising from the flaming ashes, seems even more hopeful today. Thomas Fuller, New York Times, 30 Aug. 2023 Like the phoenix rising from the ashes, CNN is heading back to streaming after the demise of CNN+. Justin Curto, Vulture, 24 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'phoenix.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near phoenix

Cite this Entry

“Phoenix.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


phoe·​nix ˈfē-niks How to pronounce phoenix (audio)
: a legendary bird which was thought to live for 500 years, burn itself to death, and then rise newborn from the ashes

Geographical Definition


geographical name

Phoe·​nix ˈfē-niks How to pronounce Phoenix (audio)
city on the Salt River in Arizona population 1,445,632

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

Phoenician noun

More from Merriam-Webster on phoenix

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