phenomenon

[fi-nom-uh-non, -nuhn]
noun, plural phenomena [fi-nom-uh-nuh] , or especially for 3, phenomenons.
1.
a fact, occurrence, or circumstance observed or observable: to study the phenomena of nature.
2.
something that is impressive or extraordinary.
3.
a remarkable or exceptional person; prodigy; wonder.
4.
Philosophy.
a.
an appearance or immediate object of awareness in experience.
b.
Kantianism. a thing as it appears to and is constructed by the mind, as distinguished from a noumenon, or thing-in-itself.

Origin:
1595–1605; < Late Latin phaenomenon < Greek phainómenon appearance, noun use of neuter of phainómenos, present participle of phaínesthai to appear, passive of phaínein to show

phenomena, phenomenal, phenomenon (see usage note at the current entry).


1. event, incident. 2, 3. marvel, miracle.


As with other plurals of Latin or Greek origin, like media and criteria, there is a tendency to use the plural phenomena as a singular (This phenomena will not be seen again), but such use occurs infrequently in edited writing. The plural form phenomenas, though occasionally seen, has even less currency.
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World English Dictionary
phenomenon (fɪˈnɒmɪnən)
 
n , pl -ena, -enons
1.  anything that can be perceived as an occurrence or fact by the senses
2.  any remarkable occurrence or person
3.  philosophy
 a.  the object of perception, experience, etc
 b.  Compare noumenon (in the writings of Kant) a thing as it appears and is interpreted in perception and reflection, as distinguished from its real nature as a thing-in-itself
 
usage  Although phenomena is often treated as if it were singular, correct usage is to employ phenomenon with a singular construction and phenomena with a plural: that is an interesting phenomenon (not phenomena); several new phenomena were recorded in his notes

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

phenomenon
1570s, "fact, occurrence," from L.L. phænomenon, from Gk. phainomenon "that which appears or is seen," noun use of neut. prp. of phainesthai "to appear," passive of phainein (see phantasm). Meaning "extraordinary occurrence" first recorded 1771. Plural is phenomena.
Shortened form phenom is baseball slang, first recorded 1890.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

phenomenon phe·nom·e·non (fĭ-nŏm'ə-nŏn', -nən)
n. pl. phe·nom·e·na (-nə)

  1. An occurrence, a circumstance, or a fact that is perceptible by the senses, especially one in relation to a disease.

  2. pl. phenome·nons An unusual, significant, or unaccountable fact or occurrence; a marvel.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
People have reported seeing ball lightning-a rare phenomenon that resembles a
  glowing sphere of electricity-for hundreds of years.
The phenomenon of a poet who enjoys continued development into the beginning of
  old age is in itself rare.
But disparities of income are a relatively recent phenomenon.
The story of Hogzilla is truly a global phenomenon.
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