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See also: Phoenix, Phönix, phœnix, and Phœnix


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Alternative forms[edit]


From Old English and Old French fenix, from Medieval Latin phenix, from Latin phoenīx, from Ancient Greek φοῖνιξ (phoînix), from Egyptian bnw (boinu, grey heron). The grey heron was venerated at Heliopolis and associated in Egypt with the cyclical renewal of life because the bird rises in flight at dawn and migrates back every year in the flood season to inhabit the Nile waters.[1]



phoenix (plural phoenix or phoenixes or phoenices)

  1. (mythology) A mythological bird, said to be the only one of its kind, which lives for 500 years and then dies by burning to ashes on a pyre of its own making, ignited by the sun. It then arises anew from the ashes.
  2. (figuratively) Anything that is reborn after apparently being destroyed. Usually used as a simile.
    Astronomers believe planets might form in this dead star's disk, like the mythical Phoenix rising up out of the ashes.
  3. (Chinese mythology) A mythological Chinese chimerical bird whose physical body symbolizes the six celestial bodies.


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  1. ^ Maria Carmela Betrò, Hieroglyphics: The Writings of Ancient Egypt (Abbeville, 1996), 108.




phoenīx f (genitive phoenīcis); third declension

  1. phoenix


Third declension i-stem.

Case Singular Plural
nominative phoenīx phoenīcēs
genitive phoenīcis phoenīcium
dative phoenīcī phoenīcibus
accusative phoenīcem phoenīcēs
ablative phoenīce phoenīcibus
vocative phoenīx phoenīcēs


phoenīx m, f, n (genitive phoenīcis); third declension

  1. Phoenician


Third declension, non-i-stem (genitive plural in -um).

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masc./Fem. Neuter Masc./Fem. Neuter
nominative phoenīx phoenīcēs phoenīca
genitive phoenīcis phoenīcum
dative phoenīcī phoenīcibus
accusative phoenīcem phoenīx phoenīcēs phoenīca
ablative phoenīce phoenīcibus
vocative phoenīx phoenīcēs phoenīca


Related terms[edit]


  • phoenix in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • phoenix in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • phoenix in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • phoenix in William Smith, editor (1848) A Dictionary of Greek Biography and Mythology, London: John Murray
  • phoenix in William Smith, editor (1854, 1857) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, volume 1 & 2, London: Walton and Maberly