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- phaenomenon, phænomenon (archaic)
- phainomenon (archaic, academic, or technical)
- phœnomenon (hypercorrect, obsolete)
- Plural (phenomena):
- A thing or being, event or process, perceptible through senses; or a fact or occurrence thereof.
- 1873, Jules Verne, chapter I, in [anonymous], transl., Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Seas; […], James R. Osgood edition, Boston, Mass.: Geo[rge] M[urray] Smith & Co., →OCLC, part I, page 3:
- The year 1866 was signalised by a remarkable incident, a mysterious and inexplicable phenomenon, which doubtless no one has yet forgotten.
- 1900, Andrew Lang, chapter 1, in The Making of Religion:
- The Indians, making a hasty inference from a trivial phenomenon, arrived unawares at a probably correct conclusion.
- 2007 November 7, “Ask the Experts: Hurricanes”, in USA Today, retrieved 16 Jan. 2009:
- Hurricanes are a meteorological phenomenon.
- (by extension) A knowable thing or event (eg by inference, especially in science)
- An electromagnetic phenomenon.
- A kind or type of phenomenon (sense 1 or 2)
- A volcanic eruption is an impressive phenomenon.
- Appearance; a perceptible aspect of something that is mutable.
- 1662, Thomas Salusbury, transl., Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief Systems of the World, First Day:
- I verily believe that in the Moon there are no rains, for if Clouds should gather in any part thereof, as they do about the Earth, they would thereupon hide from our sight some of those things, which we with the Telescope behold in the Moon, and in a word, would some way or other change its Phœnomenon.
- A fact or event considered very unusual, curious, or astonishing by those who witness it.
- 1816, [Walter Scott], chapter 18, in The Antiquary. […], volume I, Edinburgh: […] James Ballantyne and Co. for Archibald Constable and Co.; London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, →OCLC:
- The phenomenon of a huge blazing fire, upon the opposite bank of the glen, again presented itself to the eye of the watchman. . . . He resolved to examine more nearly the object of his wonder.
- A wonderful or very remarkable person or thing.
- 1888, Rudyard Kipling, The Phantom Rickshaw:
- But, all the same, you're a phenomenon, and as queer a phenomenon as you are a blackguard.
- (philosophy, chiefly Kantian idealism) An experienced object whose constitution reflects the order and conceptual structure imposed upon it by the human mind (especially by the powers of perception and understanding).
- 1900, S. Tolver Preston, “Comparison of Some Views of Spencer and Kant”, in Mind, volume 9, number 34, page 234:
- Every "phenomenon" must be, at any rate, partly subjective or dependent on the subject.
- 1912, Roy Wood Sellars, “Is There a Cognitive Relation?”, in The Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods, volume 9, number 9, page 232:
- The Kantian phenomenon is the real as we are compelled to think it.
- The universal, common, modern spelling of this term is phenomenon. Of the alternative forms listed above, phaenomenon, phænomenon, and phainomenon are etymologically consistent, retaining the αι diphthong from its Ancient Greek etymon φαινόμενον (phainómenon); in the case of the first two, it is in the Romanised form of the Latin ae diphthong, whereas in the latter it is a direct transliteration of the original Ancient Greek. The form spelt with œ has no etymological basis. All those alternative forms are pronounced identically with phenomenon and are archaic, except for phainomenon, which sees some technical use in academia and is pronounced with an initial fī ([faɪ],).
- By far the most common and universally accepted plural form is the classical phenomena; the Anglicised phenomenons is also sometimes used. The plural form phenomena is frequently used in the singular, and the singular form is sometimes used in the plural. Arising from this nonstandard use, the double plurals phenomenas and phenomenae, as well as a form employing the greengrocer’s apostrophe — phenomena’s — are also seen.
- (observable fact or occurrence): event
- (unusual, curious, or astonishing fact or event): marvel, miracle, oddity, wonder, legend
- (wonderful person or thing): marvel, miracle, phenom, prodigy, wonder, legend
- Baader-Meinhof phenomenon
- Ferranti phenomenon
- fis phenomenon
- Gibbs phenomenon
- Holmes rebound phenomenon
- Jod-Basedow phenomenon
- Koebner phenomenon
- Kohnstamm's phenomenon
- Marcus Gunn phenomenon
- phi phenomenon
- QWERTY phenomenon
- Raynaud's phenomenon
- rebound phenomenon
- Runge's phenomenon
- small-world phenomenon
- Uhthoff's phenomenon
- unexplained aerial phenomenon
- unidentified aerial phenomenon
- windscreen phenomenon
- windshield phenomenon
observable fact or occurrence
knowable thing or event
kind or type of phenomenon
unusual, curious, or astonishing fact or event
wonderful or very remarkable person or thing
philosophy: experienced object structured by the mind