Definition of phenomenon noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//fəˈnɒmɪnən//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fəˈnɑːmɪnən//
    (pl. phenomena
    BrE BrE//fəˈnɒmɪnə//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fəˈnɑːmɪnə//
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  1. 1a fact or an event in nature or society, especially one that is not fully understood cultural/natural/social phenomena Globalization is a phenomenon of the 21st century. Early retirement is a relatively new phenomenon in Britain.
  2. 2((North American English)phenomenons) a person or thing that is very successful or impressive More Like This Easily-confused plural/​singular forms bacteria/​bacterium, criteria/​criterion, data/​datum, media/​medium, phenomena/​phenomenon, strata/​stratumSee worksheet.
  3. Word Originlate 16th cent.: via late Latin from Greek phainomenon ‘thing appearing to view’, based on phainein ‘to show’.Extra examples His job is to investigate supernatural phenomena. How does one explain this incredible phenomenon? I observed a similar phenomenon in Bolivia. She proved scientifically that such phenomena exist. The movie has become a bona fide cult phenomenon. The phenomenon occurs during early foetal development. The phenomenon occurs in the early stages of pregnancy. The unfolding energy crisis is very much a global phenomenon. amazing natural phenomena the growing phenomenon of air rage Harry Potter was the greatest book publishing phenomenon ever. The Grand National, with bets worth more than £8m, is a racing phenomenon. The research sets out to explain certain social phenomena in modern urban areas. They claimed the depletion of the ozone layer was primarily a natural phenomenon. This kind of crime is a phenomenon of the modern age. This young pianist is a phenomenon. natural/​cultural/​social phenomena
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: phenomenon