Definition of phenomenon in English:



  • 1A fact or situation that is observed to exist or happen, especially one whose cause or explanation is in question.

    ‘glaciers are interesting natural phenomena’
    • ‘Scientific laws are the means, the logical tool that helps interpret facts, phenomena and processes.’
    • ‘It is assumed that normal science is sufficient for the explanation of all natural phenomena.’
    • ‘The observed maturation phenomena are generally not observed in dedifferentiated HCC.’
    • ‘It was left to Newton to provide the mathematical explanation of the phenomena that they observed.’
    • ‘Although such reports are often discounted as meteor showers or astronomical phenomena, other sightings are not so easy to dismiss.’
    • ‘Experts routinely have to reassess the damage done by natural phenomena such as earthquakes or hurricanes.’
    • ‘I might add that sometimes explanations of physical phenomena involve mathematical facts.’
    • ‘On the other hand, he acknowledges psychokinesis as a likely explanation for poltergeist phenomena.’
    • ‘The major global geophysical catastrophes that await us down the line are in fact just run-of-the-mill natural phenomena writ large.’
    • ‘Phenology is the study of recurring natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate.’
    • ‘A theory is more than a definition; it is a framework that supplies an orderly explanation of observed phenomena.’
    • ‘They want science to be redefined to include non-natural or supernatural explanations for natural phenomena.’
    • ‘The superstition of religion originated in man's inability to explain natural phenomena.’
    • ‘These policies have left us badly exposed and at the mercy of natural phenomena like drought.’
    • ‘Science is itself an ideology, one that properly restricts its own sphere of influence to observing and explaining physical phenomena.’
    • ‘The objects of science are materializable concepts, not natural phenomena.’
    • ‘He said the fog reported by the farmers was a natural phenomenon and not connected with the power plant.’
    • ‘It was an unquestioned assumption in all of my science classes that nothing exists except natural phenomena.’
    • ‘Lightning is one of the most fascinating yet beautiful natural weather phenomena that we see here on Earth.’
    • ‘Natural philosophy then consisted of causal explanation of observed phenomena in nature within such a logical and schematic programme.’
    occurrence, event, happening, fact, situation, circumstance, experience, case, incident, episode, sight, appearance, thing
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  • 2A remarkable person or thing.

    ‘the band was a pop phenomenon just for their sales figures alone’
    • ‘Hip-hop has long been one of the most fashion-conscious cultural phenomena in America.’
    • ‘Cigar box handbags, made from original wooden cigar boxes, are not a new fashion phenomenon.’
    • ‘Perhaps the remarkable phenomenon is that anything like the old nationalism echoed at all.’
    • ‘According to the morass of statistics, crime is a remarkably flexible phenomenon across England and Wales.’
    • ‘Any examination of Yali's question must address the phenomena of the Fertile Crescent.’
    • ‘As he nears the end of his remarkable career, Warne is a phenomenon waiting to be cast in gold for posterity.’
    • ‘Of course all this fuss is nothing compared to the phenomenon of Pop Idol.’
    • ‘The exhibition pays tribute to Godzilla as cultural phenomenon rather than mere pop icon.’
    • ‘One of the most remarkable economic phenomena over the past few years has been the emergence of Internet business.’
    • ‘What was expected to be a success at best has become a pop cultural phenomenon for people of all ages and backgrounds.’
    • ‘A definition of terrorism does exist, and the phenomenon also amounts to a customary international law crime.’
    • ‘The basic objective of the study was to focus on clothing and to project fashion as a social phenomenon.’
    • ‘What requires explanation is not the phenomenon of cooperation but that of a State.’
    • ‘You see, the collapse of respect for politics is a remarkably recent phenomenon.’
    • ‘Recent centuries have produced explanation after explanation for the phenomenon labelled God.’
    • ‘You may also recall a while back my talking about the hilarity provided by the Pop Idol phenomenon.’
    • ‘On top of this situation you add the phenomenon of uncontrolled violence.’
    • ‘Heavy metal, as opposed to hard rock, was a quintessentially British phenomenon.’
    • ‘The Jansenist Nouvelles was one of the most remarkable publishing phenomena of the eighteenth century.’
    marvel, sensation, wonder, prodigy, miracle, rarity, nonpareil, curiosity, spectacle
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  • 3Philosophy
    The object of a person's perception.

    • ‘For Kant, the proper explanation of natural phenomena is in terms of laws which state patterns according to which events occur.’
    • ‘Some forms of materialism argue that the mental phenomena in question do not even exist.’
    • ‘No empirical phenomena seem to demand a notion of backward causation for our understanding of them.’
    • ‘Kant also says that the categories can be applied to phenomena, but not to noumena.’
    • ‘According to Bohr, the only real properties of natural phenomena are observed phenomena.’


The word phenomenon comes from Greek, and its plural form is phenomena, as in these phenomena are not fully understood. It is a mistake to treat phenomena as if it were a singular form, as in this is a strange phenomena


Late 16th century: via late Latin from Greek phainomenon thing appearing to view, based on phainein to show.