Definition of phase in English:



  • 1A distinct period or stage in a series of events or a process of change or development.

    ‘the final phases of the war’
    ‘the draw for the qualifying phase of the tournament was held over the weekend’
    [as modifier] ‘phase two of the development’
    • ‘The fifth phase, the final development of the project, will feature semi-detached houses.’
    • ‘In the first phase of his reform process, he has directed each institution to come up with two or three major projects that can be completed by December.’
    • ‘The new-technology approach also places the design control requirements into the appropriate phase of the development process.’
    • ‘The first phase of the development process will involve the department's planning and building unit publishing a discussion paper on a target areas.’
    • ‘These findings confirm the existence of two distinct phases in vegetative development.’
    • ‘Over the study period, two distinct phases could be discerned with respect to population numbers of different age/size classes.’
    • ‘The Taiwanese economy has gone through three distinct phases of development.’
    • ‘Once a blockbuster had made a solid purchase on a block, it was relatively easy to complete the final phase of the blockbusting process.’
    • ‘‘We are in the administrative phase of the process at the moment, where we are getting the bones of the business together,’ Mara said.’
    • ‘The country hopes to pass the next key threshold of 25 chapters and reach the final phase of the negotiation process, he said after the meeting.’
    • ‘The club's new pitches and dressing-rooms were in the final phase of development and it was envisaged that they would be completed by May, 2004.’
    • ‘With this letter, we enter a new phase of the nomination process, in which the opponents have something very substantial to talk about.’
    • ‘All businesses go through distinct phases of development, and each shift presents new challenges.’
    • ‘Wheat crops should be managed to have a leaf canopy sufficient to intercept most of the sunlight during the final phases of development: ear emergence through to the end of grain fill.’
    • ‘The final phase of the planning process is orders production, which centers on developing the CHS casualty treatment and evacuation plan.’
    • ‘As the peace process enters its final phase I think we can be hopeful about its outcome.’
    • ‘The PHA document is updated as necessary throughout the early phases of the development process.’
    • ‘This marks the third and final phase of the development process, decline in development intensity.’
    • ‘Regardless of the method used, the final phase of the research process is disseminating the findings.’
    • ‘Although agriculture is still caught in the grips of industrialization, corporatization is the final phase of the industrial process.’
    stage, period, chapter, episode, part, step, point, time, juncture
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    1. 1.1A stage in a person's psychological development, especially a period of temporary difficulty during adolescence or a particular stage during childhood.
      ‘most of your fans are going through a phase’
      • ‘But in this preoedipal phase of psychological development there is no evidence that masculinity or femininity will follow predetermined routes.’
      • ‘Adolescents' developmental phase and their available ego strength determine their willingness to seek help.’
      • ‘Puberty is the first phase of adolescence, the time when sexual maturity becomes evident.’
      • ‘I convinced myself that she's just going through a phase and that nothing was wrong.’
      • ‘For males, we also found that their parental bond became somewhat less positive in the transition from the early to the middle phase of adolescence.’
      • ‘On the other hand, there remains the issue of identification with the father, which brought to a close the Oedipal phase.’
      • ‘The Good Body treats eating disorders as though they are temporary, adolescent phases but anorexia and bulimia can be fatal diseases.’
      • ‘Future research should include youths from various cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as those in the early and late phases of adolescence.’
      • ‘It was generally believed that I was going through a phase, or trying to be different.’
      • ‘Leta is going through a phase where she doesn't like to be put down.’
      • ‘Separation and individuation are normal and healthy phases of infancy.’
      • ‘We come now to the vexed questions of the Oedipus complex, childhood amnesia, and the so-called latency period, which is supposed to follow the Oedipal phase.’
      • ‘So when you told us that day that you no longer wanted to be a lawyer, we thought you were going through a phase.’
      • ‘Am I a rebellious teenager whose going through a phase in life?’
      • ‘Perhaps Jason is right that it is just children going through a phase which will soon stop but somehow I doubt it; it has been going on for years.’
      • ‘He's going through a phase where he doesn't like to be the center of attention (at least outside of the house).’
      • ‘Adolescence is the exciting phase of transition when human beings start developing the cognitive ability to form abstract thoughts.’
      • ‘This phase sees the active development of ideas and a movement towards a more balanced life and diversified set of interests, relationships, and routines.’
      • ‘Judging by the standard of the ‘artwork’ on display these people are not artists - just children going through a phase.’
      • ‘As you go through the book we think Holden will change his easy-come-easy-go attitude to life and that his alienation is just a passing phase of adolescence.’
      period, stage, time, spell
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    2. 1.2Each of the separate events in an eventing competition.
      • ‘As these are newer bits, the USEA was interested to learn more about them when considering approving them for use in the dressage phase of eventing.’
      • ‘The morning started off with the final phase of the eventing competition, the show jumping.’
      • ‘Davidson was the clear winner of the dressage phase, finishing with a score of 47.21.’
      • ‘In eventing, the first of the two championship divisions, the CCI * for junior riders, began with its dressage phase.’
  • 2Each of the aspects of the moon or a planet, according to the amount of its illumination, especially the new moon, the first quarter, the full moon, and the last quarter.

    • ‘The Prince of Wales's interest in organic gardening has turned an even deeper shade of green with his decision to experiment with planting crops according to the phases of the moon.’
    • ‘You might consider doing this ritual destruction on a New Moon, as it is a phase of the moon commonly held in association with new beginnings.’
    • ‘She wrote at length on the four humours and on the temperaments of people according to the phase of the Moon in which they were conceived.’
    • ‘The determination of the date of Easter is governed by a computation based on the vernal equinox and the phase of the moon.’
    • ‘The play is to be staged during the full moon phase of June 2005.’
    • ‘The project included work on the Earth, Sun and Moon, and investigating the solar system, the phases of the moon and different types of orbit.’
    • ‘I also at a very young age fell in love with the moon in all its phases, though the full moon always drew me out.’
    • ‘He discovered moons orbiting Jupiter, phases of Venus, sunspots, and features on the Moon that made it seem more like a planet.’
    • ‘Our grandparents who planted and pruned according to phases of the moon are early examples of farmers using natural influences to nurture plant growth.’
    • ‘The residents largely believed, however, in an ancient prophecy that said the city was safe from its enemies during the waxing phase of the Moon.’
    • ‘A star chart is simply a printed diagram of the sky on a given night or month, with prominent constellations, planets and phases of the moon marked.’
    • ‘In a prolific career, Galileo's discoveries, including phases of Venus and moons orbiting Jupiter dealt a death blow to geocentric theory.’
    • ‘Soon her palm resembled a chart of lunar phases, four thin moons, their tiny scarlet crescents crossing the lines of galaxies and Fate.’
    • ‘The phases of the Moon have often been associated with madness, giving rise to the English word ‘lunatic’.’
    • ‘They presented a guide to the movement of the planets, the phases of the Moon and even the mythology of some famous constellations.’
    • ‘I have caught many large fish during the full or new moon phase and while the catch rate is not as good as on other nights, trout still take my offering.’
    • ‘Galileo's most critical telescopic discovery was that Venus had phases like the Moon.’
    • ‘The second condition is that the Sun, Earth and the Moon must also be lined up, corresponding to the phase of the New Moon.’
    • ‘Their constantly changing work schedule revolves around the many phases of the moon and the tides.’
    • ‘These calculations are made according to moon phases, times and tides.’
    aspect, shape, form, appearance, state, condition
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  • 3Zoology
    A genetic or seasonal variety of an animal's coloration.

    ‘the invertebrate residents of the tundra pass the winter in dormant phase’
  • 4Chemistry
    A distinct and homogeneous form of matter (i.e. a particular solid, liquid, or gas) separated by its surface from other forms.

    ‘solid carbon dioxide passes directly into the gas phase without becoming a liquid’
    • ‘How can water co-exist at three phases (solid, liquid and gas)?’
    • ‘Such a disappearance of a solid into the gas phase was an intriguing phenomenon.’
    • ‘The triple point of water is the temperature at which gas, liquid and solid phases are in equilibrium - just above freezing.’
    • ‘Intermolecular interactions are most significant in liquid and solid phases where molecules are very close together.’
    • ‘Similarly, molecules in the gas phase occasionally strike the surface and are captured by the attraction of molecules in the liquid or solid phase.’
  • 5Physics
    The relationship in time between the successive states or cycles of an oscillating or repeating system (such as an alternating electric current or a light or sound wave) and either a fixed reference point or the states or cycles of another system with which it may or may not be in synchrony.

    ‘there are two output channels, one fixed in phase and the other variable in phase between 0 and 360 degrees’
    • ‘During the low-pressure phase of each sound wave, bubbles expanded rapidly.’
    • ‘Both phy and cry photoreceptors are presumably involved in setting the phase under white light: dark cycles.’
    • ‘The RHIC detectors will soon be able to record energetic photons emitted in quark-antiquark interactions in the plasma phase.’
    • ‘The interaction strength and the relative phase of the electric field in neighboring particles both depend on polarization and frequency.’
    • ‘Because we desire to store digital information, our system should have differing phases corresponding to the differing values of the information.’
    1. 5.1Each of the electrical windings or connections of a polyphase machine or circuit.
      • ‘A NEW scheme to help small industries in rural areas to upgrade their electricity to 3 - phase has been announced.’
      • ‘The two phases have different electrical resistance, which represents the binary information.’
      • ‘The aluminum nitride material has an interconnected intergranular phase that functions as an electrically conductive phase.’
  • 6Linguistics
    (in systemic grammar) the relationship between a catenative verb and the verb that follows it, as in she hoped to succeed and I like swimming.

    • ‘For talking about two actions or states, which are closely linked, we use two verbs together in phase.’
    • ‘Verbs that are followed by other verbs, either the infinitive or the -ing form, are called catenative verbs, or verbs in phase, as in I want to be alone.’
    1. 6.1A structure containing two verbs in a phase.


  • 1Carry out (something) in gradual stages.

    ‘the work is being phased over a number of years’
    ‘a phased withdrawal of troops’
    • ‘He believes phasing the withdrawal has its benefits.’
    • ‘I was speaking to some ladies during the week and they told me they would be doing the full course but will be phasing it over three days.’
    • ‘Councillors suggested possible solutions of phasing the scheme; considering other schemes; and seeking funding from partners.’
    • ‘At least with United Utilities local traders were fully consulted and the work was phased to minimise disruption to business.’
    • ‘The development at Newhall Park Road became fully operational in October last year after a three-week move phasing departments from the old site next door to the new building.’
    1. 1.1Introduce something into (or withdraw something from) use in gradual stages.
      ‘the changes will be phased in over 10 years’
      • ‘The UK representatives said that although the UK development program is now focused on the provision of high quality technical assistance, it would be phased out gradually over time as local capacity increases.’
      • ‘He added that any introduction of defibrillators would be phased in, but the aim was for there to be one machine on every engine.’
      • ‘She however, said the introduction of unleaded fuel would be gradual as it would be phased in slowly beginning this month.’
      • ‘The company says changes will be phased in gradually, with half the project completed by the end of this year and fully realised by 2005.’
      • ‘The rules will be phased in gradually to cover smaller businesses.’
      eliminate gradually, remove gradually, replace gradually, withdraw gradually, discontinue, get rid of by stages, stop using, ease off, run down, wind down, wind up, deactivate, finish, end
      introduce gradually, incorporate by stages, begin using, ease in, start using
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  • 2Physics
    Adjust the phase of (something), especially so as to synchronize it with something else.

    ‘about 70% of the reflections were phased by this method’
    • ‘In order to properly phase the two telescopes, adaptive optics on both telescopes removed the distortion caused by the Earth's atmosphere.’


See faze


  • in (or out of) phase

    • 1Being or happening in (or out of) synchrony or harmony.

      ‘the cabling work should be carried out in phase with the building work’
      • ‘Large species tend to produce their young more in phase with high biomass and after the protein peak.’
      • ‘Advisory committees help colleges and universities stay in phase with industry needs.’
      • ‘This improvement in keeping the moon in phase with the month had the unfortunate effect of taking the year even further out of phase with the period of the recurring seasons.’
      • ‘It's not just a matter of there being more light; when you've got more than one of these things going in close proximity, and they're operating out of phase with each other, they're a hell of a lot more dazzling than the lights on a single car.’
      • ‘When exiting the corner, the rear wheels turn in phase with the front wheels improving yaw damping.’
    • 2Physics
      Having or in the same (or different) phase or stage of variation.

      ‘in a pure inductive circuit voltage and current are always out of phase’
      • ‘In running, however, kinetic and potential energy fluctuate in phase with each other.’
      • ‘A controller senses an input current and an output voltage across an output capacitor for controlling switching to regulate the output voltage and to ensure that the input current is substantially in phase with an input voltage.’
      • ‘This is unlike the corresponding formula for the horizontal component of the velocity, which indicates that it is in phase with the surface wave, i.e. it peaks at the maximum of the surface elevation.’
      • ‘Both kinetic energy and potential energy components of dynamic energy DE increase in phase with one-another.’
      • ‘This current sets up a magnetic field (called the primary field) which oscillates in phase with the transmitter current.’


Early 19th century (in phase): from French phase, based on Greek phasis appearance, from the base of phainein to show.