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 Phoenix (audio) \ adjective

Geographical name

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

Examples of phoenix in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun New York is like a phoenix, with this incredible capacity to regenerate. Cécilia Pelloux, Forbes, 26 May 2021 Hence the name phoenix, implying a rebirth or rebound from the brink. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 9 Apr. 2021 Tina, born Anna Mae Bullock in Tennessee, rose like a phoenix from poverty to become an international star. Shelby Stewart, Chron, 27 Apr. 2021 So often, beings had to die to be reborn, like the phoenix, the ancient bird that burst into flames and then rose from the ashes. New York Times, 17 Apr. 2021 Their findings paint a picture of a sudden, cataclysmic annihilation of life after the impact—but also of a phoenix-like rebirth in the millions of years afterward. Rachel Nuwer, Scientific American, 1 Apr. 2021 Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Deuback’s rink emerged larger and more modern. Dallas News, 25 Mar. 2021 The image of a phoenix rising from the ash perfectly suits the beautiful and strong Kelly Marie Tran combined with the lotus motif in the center of the headdress, which is the national flower of Vietnam. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, 6 Mar. 2021 Beside me flew another player on a sunburst phoenix called the Ashes of Al’ar, trailing purple beams through the sky. Tanner Laguatan, Wired, 19 Feb. 2021

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

3 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Phoenix.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2021.

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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 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

More from Merriam-Webster on phoenix

Nglish: Translation of phoenix for Spanish Speakers

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


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