Definition of


  1. (noun, time) any distinct time period in a sequence of events
  2. (noun, state) (physical chemistry) a distinct state of matter in a system; matter that is identical in chemical composition and physical state and separated from other material by the phase boundary
  3. (noun, time) a particular point in the time of a cycle; measured from some arbitrary zero and expressed as an angle
  4. (noun, attribute) (astronomy) the particular appearance of a body's state of illumination (especially one of the recurring shapes of the part of Earth's moon that is illuminated by the sun)
  5. (verb, creation) arrange in phases or stages
  6. (verb, change) adjust so as to be in a synchronized condition

via WordNet, Princeton University

Synonyms of Phase

form, phase angle, stage

Origin of the word Phase

  1. 1812, "phase of the moon," back-formed as a sing. from Mod.L. phases, pl. of phasis, from Gk. phasis "appearance" (of a star), "phase" (of the moon), from stem of phainein "to show, to make appear" (see phantasm). L. sing. phasis was used in Eng. from 1660. Non-lunar application is first attested 1841. Meaning "temporary difficult period" (esp… more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

Note: If you're looking to improve your vocabulary right now, we highly recommend Ultimate Vocabulary Software.

Word of the Moment

St John's Wort Family

widely distributed family of chiefly tropical trees and shrubs and vines that produce oils and resins and some usable timber