Advertisement
202 entries found
Search filter: All Results 
phoenix (n.)

mythical bird of great beauty worshiped in Egypt, Old English and Old French fenix, from Medieval Latin phenix, from Latin phoenix, from Greek phoinix. The bird was the only one of its kind, ans after living 500 or 600 years in the Arabian wilderness, "built for itself a funeral pile of spices and aromatic gums, lighted the pile with the fanning of its wings, and was burned upon it, but from its ashes revived in the freshness of youth" [Century Dictionary]. 

Ðone wudu weardaþ wundrum fæger
fugel feþrum se is fenix hatan
["Phoenix," c.900]

Compare Phoenician, which seems to be unrelated. Forms in ph- begin to appear in English late 15c. and the spelling was assimilated to Greek in 16c. (see ph). Figurative sense of "that which rises from the ashes of what was destroyed" is attested from 1590s.

The constellation was one of the 11 added to Ptolemy's list in the 1610s by Flemish cartographer Petrus Plancius (1552-1622) after Europeans began to explore the Southern Hemisphere. The city in Arizona, U.S., was so called because it was founded in 1867 on the site of an ancient Native American settlement.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
genus (n.)

(Latin plural genera), 1550s as a term of logic, "kind or class of things" (biological sense dates from c. 1600), from Latin genus (genitive generis) "race, stock, kind; family, birth, descent, origin" (from suffixed form of PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget," with derivatives referring to procreation and familial and tribal groups).

Related entries & more 
Arabian 
c. 1300, adjective and noun; see Arab + -ian. As a prized type of horse, it is attested from 1660s. The Arabian bird was the phoenix.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
genotype (n.)
"genetic constitution of an individual," 1910, from German Genotypus (Wilhelm Johannsen, 1909); see gene + type (n.). Earlier the same word was used with a sense of "type-species of a genus" (1897); in this case, the first element is from genus.
Related entries & more 
Morus (n.)
genus of mulberry trees, from Latin morus "mulberry tree."
Related entries & more 
Pilobolus (n.)

genus of fungi, Modern Latin, from Greek pilos "felt" (see pileated) + bōlos "a clod, clump."

Related entries & more 
platypus (n.)

"Australian duck-mole," 1799, from Modern Latin, from Greek platypous, literally "flat-footed," from platys "broad, flat" (from PIE root *plat- "to spread") + pous "foot," from PIE root *ped- "foot." Originally the genus name, but entomologists had given it earlier to a genus of beetles; it was retained for the species after the genus name was changed in 1800 to Ornithorhyncus. OED has Australian platypussary (1945) "enclosure in which platypuses are kept."

Related entries & more 
Weigela (n.)
shrub genus, 1846, from the name of German physician and botanist C.E. Weigel (1748-1831).
Related entries & more