Definition of Phi Beta Kappa in English:

Phi Beta Kappa

noun

  • 1(in the US) an honorary society of undergraduates and some graduates to which members are elected on the basis of high academic achievement.

    • ‘After a stint at the State University of New York at Old Westbury, he transferred to Columbia and graduated magna cum laude, with election to Phi Beta Kappa.’
    • ‘We are not told how many African American students ranked in the top quarter or the top tenth of their classes, graduated with honors, or made Phi Beta Kappa.’
    • ‘Carson is a Rhodes Scholar with a goody-two-shoes image - Phi Beta Kappa, White House fellow, Legal Services Award winner, etc.’
    • ‘She earned her B.S. degree in 1937 at the University of Oklahoma, Phi Beta Kappa, and received the Sigma Gamma Epsilon Scholarship Award for Outstanding Senior in Geology.’
    • ‘He graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Howard University with a degree in economics after spending his junior year at The London School of Economics and Political Science as a Luard Scholar.’
    1. 1.1 A member of a Phi Beta Kappa society.
      • ‘She is a Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude graduate of Wellesley College.’
      • ‘She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Michigan where she won a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship in American history and economics.’

Origin

From the initial letters of a Greek motto philosophia biou kubernētēs ‘philosophy is the guide to life’.

Pronunciation

Phi Beta Kappa

/ˌfʌɪ ˌbiːtə ˈkapə/