Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to phenomena: Natural Phenomena


Plural of phenomenon.


(fɪˈnɒm əˌnɒn, -nən)

n., pl. -na (-nə) or, esp. for 3, -nons.
1. a fact, occurrence, or circumstance observed or observable: the phenomena of nature.
2. something that is remarkable or extraordinary.
3. a remarkable or exceptional person; prodigy.
4. Philos.
a. an appearance or immediate object of awareness in experience.
b. (in Kantian philosophy) a thing as it appears to and is constructed by the mind, as distinguished from a noumenon, or thing-in-itself.
[1595–1605; < Late Latin phaenomenon < Greek phainómenon appearance, n. use of neuter present participle of phaínesthai to appear, pass. of phaínein to show]
usage: As with other plurals of Latin or Greek origin, there is a tendency to use the plural phenomena as a singular (This phenomena will not be seen again); such use, which is usually criticized by usage guides, occurs infrequently in edited writing. See also criterion, media1.


  • cosmology - The study of the world as a totality of all phenomena in space and time.
  • noology - The science of intuition and reason as phenomena of the mind.
  • ontology, phenomenology - Ontology is the branch of metaphysics concerned with the nature or essence of being or existence, the opposite of phenomenology, the science of phenomena.
  • second nature - Originally Latin secundum naturam, "according to nature," it is from Aristotelian philosophy and contrasts with phenomena that are super naturam ("above nature," such as God's grace), extra naturam ("outside nature"), supra naturam ("beyond nature," such as miracles), or contra naturam ("against nature").
References in classic literature ?
Their field of action lies among the external phenomena of life.
Nothing was more common, in those days, than to interpret all meteoric appearances, and other natural phenomena that occured with less regularity than the rise and set of sun and moon, as so many revelations from a supernatural source.
Besides all the other phenomena which the exterior of the Sperm Whale presents, he not seldom displays the back, and more especially his flanks, effaced in great part of the regular linear appearance, by reason of numerous rude scratches, altogether of an irregular, random aspect.
Macey, in deep disgust at the farrier's crass incompetence to apprehend the conditions of ghostly phenomena.
It is easy to observe how many empty hypotheses and idle reasonings the phenomena of this river have put mankind to the expense of.
In a still more indirect way, he was helped by Morse's invention of the telegraph; by Faraday's discovery of the phenomena of magnetic induction; by Sturgeon's first electro-magnet; and by Volta's electric battery.
Then these phenomena seemed to blend in one as Stephanie's eyes cast forth a celestial ray, the flame of a living soul.
These appearances, which bewilder you, are merely electrical phenomena not uncommon--or it may be that they have their ghastly origin in the rank miasma of the tarn.
The occasional emergence of an Equilateral from the ranks of his serf-born ancestors is welcomed, not only by the poor serfs themselves, as a gleam of light and hope shed upon the monotonous squalor of their existence, but also by the Aristocracy at large; for all the higher classes are well aware that these rare phenomena, while they do little or nothing to vulgarize their own privileges, serve as a most useful barrier against revolution from below.
He had now seen the full deformity of that creature that shared with him some of the phenomena of consciousness, and was co-heir with him to death: and beyond these links of community, which in themselves made the most poignant part of his distress, he thought of Hyde, for all his energy of life, as of something not only hellish but inorganic.
Beyond the pit stood the little wedge of people with the white flag at its apex, arrested by these phenomena, a little knot of small vertical black shapes upon the black ground.
Well, the poison brings on a cough, the cough an inflammation of the lungs, or some other complaint catalogued in the book of science, which, however, by no means precludes it from being decidedly mortal; and if it were not, would be sure to become so, thanks to the remedies applied by foolish doctors, who are generally bad chemists, and which will act in favor of or against the malady, as you please; and then there is a human being killed according to all the rules of art and skill, and of whom justice learns nothing, as was said by a terrible chemist of my acquaintance, the worthy Abbe Adelmonte of Taormina, in Sicily, who has studied these national phenomena very profoundly.