phobophobia (n.) Look up phobophobia at
"morbid dread of being alarmed," 1890; see phobia.
phoebe (n.) Look up phoebe at
small North American flycatcher, pewit, 1700, phebe, so called in imitation of its cry; spelling altered (1839) by influence of the woman's proper name Phoebe.
Phoebe Look up Phoebe at
fem. proper name, late 14c., originally a name of Artemis as the goddess of the moon, from Latin Phoebe, from Greek phoibos "bright, pure," of unknown origin. The fem. form of Phoebus, an epithet of Apollo as sun-god.
Phoebus Look up Phoebus at
epithet of Apollo as sun-god, late 14c., from Latin Phoebus, from Greek Phoibos, literally "bright, shining, radiant," of unknown origin. Related: Phoeban.
Phoenician (n.) Look up Phoenician at
late 14c., from Middle French phenicien, from Latin Phoenice, from Greek Phoinike "Phoenicia" (including Carthage), perhaps literally "land of the purple" (i.e., source of purple dye, the earliest use of which was ascribed to the Phoenicians by the Greeks). Identical with phoenix (q.v.), but the relationship is obscure. In reference to a language from 1836; as an adjective from c. 1600.
phoenix (n.) Look up phoenix at
Old English and Old French fenix, from Medieval Latin phenix, from Latin phoenix, from Greek phoinix, the mythical bird of Arabia which flew to Egypt every 500 years to be reborn; it also meant "the date" (fruit and tree), and "Phoenician," literally "purple-red," perhaps a foreign word (Egyptian has been suggested), or from phoinos "blood-red." The exact relation and order of the senses in Greek is unclear.
Ðone wudu weardaþ wundrum fæger
fugel feþrum se is fenix hatan

["Phoenix," c.900]
Spelling assimilated to Greek 16c. (see ph). Figurative sense of "that which rises from the ashes of what was destroyed" is attested from 1590s. The city in Arizona, U.S., so called because it was founded in 1867 on the site of an ancient Native American settlement.
phone (n.1) Look up phone at
1884, shortening of telephone (n.). Phone book first recorded 1925; phone booth 1927; phone bill 1901.
phone (v.) Look up phone at
1884, from phone (n.). Related: Phoned; phoning.
phone (n.2) Look up phone at
"elementary sound of a spoken language," 1866, from Greek phone "sound, voice," from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say" (see fame (n.)).
phoneme (n.) Look up phoneme at
"distinctive sound or group of sounds," 1889, from French phonème, from Greek phonema "a sound made, voice," from phonein "to sound or speak," from phone "sound, voice," from PIE root *bha- (2) "speak" (see fame (n.)).
phonemic (adj.) Look up phonemic at
1933, from phoneme + -ic. Related: Phonemics (1936); phonemically.
phonetic (adj.) Look up phonetic at
"representing vocal sounds," 1803, from Modern Latin phoneticus (1797), from Greek phonetikos "vocal," from phonetos "to be spoken, utterable," verbal adjective of phonein "to speak clearly, utter," from phone "sound, voice," from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say" (see fame (n.)).
phonetics (n.) Look up phonetics at
"scientific study of speech," 1841, from phonetic; also see -ics.
phonic (adj.) Look up phonic at
"pertaining to sound," 1793, from Greek phone "voice," from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say" (see fame (n.)) + -ic.
phonics (n.) Look up phonics at
1680s, "science of sound," from Greek phone "sound," from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say" (see fame (n.)) + -ics. As a method of teaching reading it is first attested 1908, though the system dates from 1844.
phono- Look up phono- at
word-forming element meaning "sound, voice," from Greek phono-, comb. form of phone "voice, sound," from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say" (see fame (n.)).
phonogram (n.) Look up phonogram at
1845, "a written symbol," from phono- + -gram. From 1879 as "a sound recording."
phonograph (n.) Look up phonograph at
1835, "character representing a sound," literally "writer of sounds," from phono- "sound" + -graph "instrument for recording; something written." Meaning "an instrument that produces sounds from records" (talking phonograph, invented by Thomas A. Edison) it is attested from 1877. The recording made from it at first was called a phonogram (1879).
phonographic (adj.) Look up phonographic at
1840, originally in reference to shorthand; see phono- + graphic. Modern sense from 1878.
phonolite (n.) Look up phonolite at
a kind of volcanic rock that rings when struck, c. 1830, literally "sounding stone," from phono- + -lite. Based on German klingstein.
phonological (adj.) Look up phonological at
1818, from phonology + -ical. Related: Phonologically.
phonology (n.) Look up phonology at
1799, from phono- + -logy.
phonophobia (n.) Look up phonophobia at
1877, from phono- + -phobia.
phony (adj.) Look up phony at
also phoney, "not genuine," 1899, perhaps an alteration of fawney "gilt brass ring used by swindlers."
His most successful swindle was selling "painted" or "phony" diamonds. He had a plan of taking cheap stones, and by "doctoring" them make them have a brilliant and high class appearance. His confederates would then take the diamonds to other pawnbrokers and dispose of them. ["The Jewelers Review," New York, April 5, 1899]
The noun meaning "phony person or thing" is attested from 1902.
phooey Look up phooey at
expression of contempt, 1929, from Yiddish, from German pfui (attested in English from 1866); popularized by Walter Winchell. Phoo "vocalic gesture expressing contemptuous rejection" is recorded from 1640s.
phoresis (n.) Look up phoresis at
see phoresy.
phoresy (n.) Look up phoresy at
1914, from French phorésie (1896), from Greek phoresis "being carried," from pherein "to carry" (see infer).
phosphate (n.) Look up phosphate at
a salt of phosphoric acid, 1795, from French phosphate (1787), from phosphore (see phosphorus) + -ate (3).
phosphor (n.) Look up phosphor at
"morning star," 1630s, from Latin phosphorus "the morning star" (see phosphorus). Meaning "anything phosphorescent" is from 1705.
phosphorescence (n.) Look up phosphorescence at
1796, from verb phosphoresce (1794; see phosphorescent) + -ence.
phosphorescent (adj.) Look up phosphorescent at
1766, from Modern Latin phosphorus (see phosphorus) + -escent. Related: Phosphorescently.
phosphoric (adj.) Look up phosphoric at
1784, from French phosphorique, from phosphore (see phosphorous). Related: Phosphorical (1753).
phosphorous (adj.) Look up phosphorous at
1777, "phosphorescent," from phosphorus + -ous. The chemical sense (1794) is immediately from French phosphoreux.
phosphorus (n.) Look up phosphorus at
"substance or organism that shines of itself," 1640s, from Latin phosphorus "light-bringing," also "the morning star" (a sense attested in English from 1620), from Greek Phosphoros "morning star," literally "torchbearer," from phos "light," contraction of phaos "light, daylight" (related to phainein "to show, to bring to light;" see phantasm) + phoros "bearer," from pherein "to carry" (see infer).

As the name of a non-metallic chemical element, it is recorded from 1680, originally one among several substances so called; the word used exclusively of the element from c. 1750. It was discovered in 1669 by Henning Brand, merchant and alchemist of Hamburg, who derived it from urine. Lavoisier demonstrated it was an element in 1777. According to Flood, "It is the first element whose discoverer is known."
photic (adj.) Look up photic at
1843, "pertaining to light;" 1899, "pertaining to the parts of the ocean penetrated by sunlight," from Greek phot-, comb. form of Greek phos "light" (related to phainein "to show, to bring to light;" see phantasm) + -ic.
photo (n.) Look up photo at
1860, shortening of photograph. The verb is first recorded 1865, from the noun. Photo finish is attested from 1936. Photo opportunity first recorded 1974.
photo- Look up photo- at
word-forming element meaning "light" or "photographic" or "photoelectric," from Greek photo-, comb. form of phos (genitive photos) "light," from PIE root *bha- (1) "to shine" (see phantasm).
photocopier (n.) Look up photocopier at
1934, agent noun from photocopy (v.).
photocopy (v.) Look up photocopy at
1924 in the sense of "make a photographic reproduction," from photo- "photographic" + copy (v.). The usual modern meaning arose 1942 with the advent of xerography. The noun is recorded from 1934. Related: Photocopied; photocopying.
photogenic (adj.) Look up photogenic at
1839, "produced or caused by light," from photo- "light" + -genic "produced by" (see genus). Originally in photogenic drawing, the early term for "photography;" meaning "photographing well" is first attested 1928, from photo- as short for "photograph."
photograph (n.) Look up photograph at
1839, "picture obtained by photography," coined by Sir John Herschel from photo- + -graph "instrument for recording; something written." It won out over other suggestions, such as photogene and heliograph. Neo-Anglo-Saxonists prefer sunprint; and sun-picture (1846) was an early Englishing of the word. The verb, as well as photography, are first found in a paper read before the Royal Society on March 14, 1839. Related: Photographed; photographing.
photographer (n.) Look up photographer at
1843, agent noun from photograph (v.). (Photographist also is attested from 1843).
photographic (adj.) Look up photographic at
1839, from photograph + -ic. Photographic memory is from 1940. Related: Photographical; photographically.
photography (n.) Look up photography at
1839, from photo- + -graphy. See photograph.
photogravure (n.) Look up photogravure at
"process of engraving by photography," 1869, from photo- + gravure, from grave (v.) + -ure.
photoinduction (n.) Look up photoinduction at
1947, from photo- + induction.
photojournalism (n.) Look up photojournalism at
1944, from photo- + journalism. Related: Photojournalist.
photomontage (n.) Look up photomontage at
1931, from photo + montage.
photon (n.) Look up photon at
"unit of electromagnetic radiation," 1926 in modern sense, from photo- "light" + -on "unit."
photoperiodism (n.) Look up photoperiodism at
1920, from photoperiod (1920, from photo- + period) + -ism.