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phoenix

Definition from Dictionary, a free dictionary
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English

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Alternative spellings

Etymology

From [[w:Template:lang:la language|Template:lang:la]][[Category:Template:lang:la derivations]] phoenīx, from Ancient Greek φοῖνιξ (phoiniks), the mythical bird first described here:

  • There is also another sacred bird called the phœnix which I did not myself see except in painting, for in truth he comes to them very rarely, at intervals, as the people of Heliopolis say, of five hundred years; and these say that he comes regularly when his father dies; and if he be like the painting, he is of this size and nature, that is to say, some of his feathers are of gold colour and others red, and in outline and size he is as nearly as possible like an eagle. This bird they say (but I cannot believe the story) contrives as follows:--setting forth from Arabia he conveys his father, they say, to the temple of the Sun (Helios) plastered up in myrrh, and buries him in the temple of the Sun; and he conveys him thus:--he forms first an egg of myrrh as large as he is able to carry, and then he makes trial of carrying it, and when he has made trial sufficiently, then he hollows out the egg and places his father within it and plasters over with other myrrh that part of the egg where he hollowed it out to put his father in, and when his father is laid in it, it proves (they say) to be of the same weight as it was; and after he has plastered it up, he conveys the whole to Egypt to the temple of the Sun. Thus they say that this bird does. — Herodotus, The Histories, Book II:73 (G.C. Macaulay translation).

Pronunciation

Noun

Singular
phoenix

Plural
phoenix

phoenix (phoenix)
  1. (mythology) A mythological bird, said to be the only one of its kind, which lives for 500 years and then dies by burning to ashes on a pyre of its own making, ignited by the sun. It then arises anew from the ashes.
  2. (figuratively) Anything that is reborn after apparently being destroyed. Usually used as a simile. Astronomers believe planets might form in this dead star's disk, like the mythical Phoenix rising up out of the ashes.

Translations

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Latin

Noun

phoenīx (genitive phoenīcis); f, third declension

  1. a phoenix

Inflection

Third declension, parisyllabic i-stem variation (3:PAR).

Number Singular Plural
nominative phoenīx phoenīcēs
genitive phoenīcis phoenīcium
dative phoenīcī phoenīcibus
accusative phoenīcem phoenīcēs 1
ablative phoenīce phoenīcibus
vocative phoenīx phoenīcēs
1 May also be phoenicīs.

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