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From Latin phallus (membrum virile, phallus, or a figure thereof) from Ancient Greek φαλλός (phallós).


  • IPA(key): /ˈfæləs/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æləs


phallus (plural phalli or phalluses)

  1. A penis, especially when erect.
    • 1936, Rollo Ahmed, The Black Art, London: Long, page 159:
      The phallus had power to subdue the attacks of demons and the Evil Eye[.]
    • 1981, William Irwin Thompson, The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light: Mythology, Sexuality and the Origins of Culture, London: Rider/Hutchinson & Co., page 129:
      If the priests of Diana of Ephesus castrated themselves and offered their genitals on the altar, it was because the phallus was the symbol of the dying body.
  2. A representation of an erect penis symbolising fertility or potency.
  3. (ornithology) A similar erectile sexual organ present in the cloacas of male ratites.
  4. (psychoanalysis) The signifier of the desire of the Other, and the signifier of jouissance.


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Borrowed from Latin phallus.[1]



phallus m (plural phallus)

  1. phallus

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See also[edit]


  1. ^ phallus”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012.
  2. ^ phallus”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012.



From Ancient Greek φαλλός (phallós, membrum virile, phallus, or a figure thereof), likely ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *bʰel- (to blow, swell up); compare follis (sack).



phallus m (genitive phallī); second declension

  1. (mythology, religion) an iconic phallic figure of the male member borne in cult processions at a Dionysian orgy or festival of Bacchus as a symbol of the generative power of nature
  2. (anatomy) phallus, membrum virile, penis
  3. (figurative, art) phallus; an artistic image of the membrum virile or other figurative representation of the erect penis as an icon representing male sexuality, potency, fertility


Second-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative phallus phallī
Genitive phallī phallōrum
Dative phallō phallīs
Accusative phallum phallōs
Ablative phallō phallīs
Vocative phalle phallī

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Further reading[edit]

  • phallus”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • phallus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette, page 1171
  • phallus in Georges, Karl Ernst; Georges, Heinrich (1913–1918) Ausführliches lateinisch-deutsches Handwörterbuch, volume 2, 8th edition, Hahnsche Buchhandlung, column 1680