Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1500-1600
Language: Late Latin
Origin: Greek phainomenon, from phainein 'to show'

phenomenon

noun
     
phe‧nom‧e‧non W3 plural phenomena [countable]
1 something that happens or exists in society, science, or nature, especially something that is studied because it is difficult to understand
phenomenon of
the growing phenomenon of telecommuting
Homelessness is not a new phenomenon.
natural/historical/social etc phenomenon
Language is a social and cultural phenomenon.
2 something or someone that is very unusual because of a rare quality or ability that they have

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