Definition of phatic adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

phatic

 adjectiveadjective
adjective
BrE BrE//ˈfætɪk//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈfætɪk//
 
adjective(linguistics)
 
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relating to language used for social purposes rather than to give information or ask questions phatic communication Word Origin 1920s: from Greek phatos ‘spoken’ or phatikos ‘affirming’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: phatic