pharmacy (n.) Look up pharmacy at
late 14c., "a medicine," from Old French farmacie "a purgative" (13c.), from Medieval Latin pharmacia, from Greek pharmakeia "use of drugs, medicines, potions, or spells; poisoning, witchcraft; remedy, cure," from pharmakeus (fem. pharmakis) "preparer of drugs, poisoner, sorcerer" from pharmakon "drug, poison, philter, charm, spell, enchantment." Meaning "use or administration of drugs" is attested from c. 1400; that of "place where drugs are prepared and dispensed" is first recorded 1833. The ph- was restored 16c. in French, 17c. in English (see ph).
Pharos (n.) Look up Pharos at
as a word for a lighthouse, 1550s, in reference to the island of Pharos off the coast of Alexandria, on which Ptolemy Philadelphius built a mighty lighthouse.
pharyngeal (adj.) Look up pharyngeal at
"pertaining to the pharynx," 1799, from Modern Latin pharyngeus, from pharynx (see pharynx) + -al (1). Alternative pharyngal is attested from 1835, from Modern Latin pharyngem with -al (1) substituted.
pharyngitis (n.) Look up pharyngitis at
1824, from stem of pharynx + -itis "inflammation."
pharynx (n.) Look up pharynx at
1690s, from Greek pharynx (genitive pharyngos) "windpipe, throat," related to pharanx "cleft, chasm."
phase (n.) Look up phase at
1705, "phase of the moon," back-formed as a singular from Modern Latin phases, plural of phasis, from Greek phasis "appearance" (of a star), "phase" (of the moon), from stem of phainein "to show, to make appear" (see phantasm). Latin singular phasis was used in English from 1660. Non-lunar application is first attested 1841. Meaning "temporary difficult period" (especially of adolescents) is attested from 1913.
phase (v.) Look up phase at
"to synchronize," 1895, from phase (n.). Meaning "to carry out gradually" is from 1949, hence phase in "introduce gradually" (1954), phase out (1954). Related: Phased; phasing.
phat (adj.) Look up phat at
hip-hop slang, "great, excellent," 1992, originating perhaps in the late 1980s and meaning at first "sexiness in a woman." The word itself is presumably a variant of fat (q.v.) in one of its slang senses, with the kind of off-beat spelling preferred in street slang (compare boyz). The spelling is attested as far back as 1678, as an erroneous form of fat (a classical over-correction; see ph). This spelling is said by some to be an acronym, and supposed originals are offered: "pretty hot and tasty," or "pretty hips and thighs" among them, all unconvincing. These, too may have been innovations given as explanations to women who felt insulted by the word.
phatic (adj.) Look up phatic at
1923, coined by Polish-born British anthropologist Bronisław Malinowski (1884-1942) from Greek phatos "spoken, that may be spoken," from phanai "to speak, say," from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say" (see fame (n.)) + -ic.
pheasant (n.) Look up pheasant at
late 13c. (mid-12c. as a surname), from Anglo-French fesaunt, Old French faisan (13c.) "pheasant," from Latin phasianus, from Greek phasianos "a pheasant," literally "Phasian bird," from Phasis, river flowing into the Black Sea in Colchis, where the birds were said to have been numerous. The ph- was restored in English late 14c. (see ph). The excrescent -t is due to confusion with -ant suffix of nouns formed from present participle of verbs in first Latin conjugation (peasant, tyrant, etc.).
pheme (n.) Look up pheme at
"words as grammatical units in a language," 1906, coined by U.S. philosopher Charles S. Pierce (1839-1914), from Greek pheme "speech, voice, utterance, a speaking," from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say" (see fame (n.)).
phene Look up phene at
as an element in names of chemicals derived from benzene, from French phène, proposed 1836 by French scientist Auguste Laurent as an alternative name for "benzene" because it had been found in coal tar, a byproduct of the manufacture of "illuminating gas," from Greek phainein "to bring to light" (see phantasm). Related: Phenyl (radical which forms the basis of derivatives of benzene); pheno- (comb. form).
phenetic (adj.) Look up phenetic at
coined 1960, from Greek phainein "to appear" (see phantasm) + -etic. Related: Phenetically.
pheno- Look up pheno- at
before vowels phen-, word-forming element in science meaning "pertaining to or derived from benzene," from phene.
phenobarbital (n.) Look up phenobarbital at
1919, from pheno- + barbital (see barbiturate).
phenol (n.) Look up phenol at
"carbolic acid," 1844, from pheno- + -ol. Discovered in coal tar in 1834; used as an antiseptic from 1867. Related: Phenolic.
phenology (n.) Look up phenology at
"study of the influence of climate on recurring natural phenomena," 1881, from German (phänologisch, Karl Fritsch, 1853) from Latin phaeno-, from Greek phaino-, from phainein "to show" (see phantasm) + -logy. Related: Phenological (1875).
phenom (n.) Look up phenom at
shortened form of phenomenon, U.S. baseball slang, first recorded 1890.
phenomena (n.) Look up phenomena at
plural of phenomenon. Sometimes also erroneously used as a singular.
phenomenal (adj.) Look up phenomenal at
1803, "of the nature of a phenomenon," a hybrid from phenomenon + -al (1). Meaning "remarkable, exceptional" is from 1850.
[Phenomenal] is a metaphysical term with a use of its own. To divert it from this proper use to a job for which it is not needed, by making it do duty for remarkable, extraordinary, or prodigious, is a sin against the English language. [Fowler]
Related: Phenomenally.
phenomenalism (n.) Look up phenomenalism at
1865 (John Grote), from phenomenal + -ism. Related: Phenomenalist.
phenomenology (n.) Look up phenomenology at
1797, from German Phänomenologie, used as the title of the fourth part of the "Neues Organon" of German physicist Johann Heinrich Lambert (1728-1777), coined from Greek phainomenon (see phenomenon) + -logia (see -logy). Psychological sense, especially in Gestalt theory, is from 1930. Related: Phenomenological.
phenomenon (n.) Look up phenomenon at
1570s, "fact, occurrence," from Late Latin phænomenon, from Greek phainomenon "that which appears or is seen," noun use of neuter present participle of phainesthai "to appear," passive of phainein (see phantasm). Meaning "extraordinary occurrence" first recorded 1771. Plural is phenomena.
phenotype (n.) Look up phenotype at
"observable characteristics of an individual," 1911, from German phaenotypus (Wilhelm Johannsen, 1909); see pheno- + type (n.). Related: Phenotypic.
phenyl (n.) Look up phenyl at
radical base of phenol, 1850, from French phényle; see pheno-.
pheromone (n.) Look up pheromone at
"chemical released by an animal that causes a specific response when detected by another animal of the same species," but the exact definition is much debated; 1959, coined (by Karlson & Lüscher) from Greek pherein "to carry" (see infer) + ending as in hormone.
phew Look up phew at
vocalic gesture expressing weariness, etc., attested from c. 1600.
phi Look up phi at
twenty-first letter of the Greek alphabet; see ph.
Phi Beta Kappa Look up Phi Beta Kappa at
undergraduate honorary society, 1776, from initials of Greek philosophia biou kybernetes "philosophy, guide of life."
phial (n.) Look up phial at
late 14c., from Old French fiole "flask, phial" (12c.), probably from Medieval Latin phiola, from Latin phiala, from Greek phiale "broad, flat drinking vessel," of unknown origin.
Philadelphia Look up Philadelphia at
city in Pennsylvania, U.S., from Greek, taken by William Penn to mean "brotherly love," from philos "loving" (see -phile) + adelphos "brother" (see Adelphia). Also the name recalls that of the ancient city in Lydia, mentioned in the New Testament, which was so called in honor of Attalos II Philadelphos, 2c B.C.E. king of Pergamon, who founded it. His title is said to have meant "loving the brethren." Philadelphia lawyer "clever, shrewd attorney" attested from 1788 in London, said originally to have been applied to Andrew Hamilton, who obtained the famous acquittal of J.P. Zenger on libel charges in 1735.
[C]ricket and coaching were after all popular in their day in places besides Philadelphia. It was merely that Philadelphia kept on with them longer than most places. This is a perennial Philadelphia trick, and gives to Philadelphia a sort of perpetual feeling of loss. Philadelphians are always just now getting rid of things that are picturesque, like those gas lamps on the streets, only because everybody else got rid of them long ago. [Nathaniel Burt, "The Perennial Philadelphians," 1963]
philander (v.) Look up philander at
1737, from the noun meaning "a lover" (1700), from Philander, popular name for a lover in stories, drama, and poetry, from Greek adjective philandros "with love for people," perhaps mistaken as meaning "a loving man," from phil- "loving" (see philo-) + andr-, stem of aner "man" (see anthropo-). Related: Philandered; philandering.
philanderer (n.) Look up philanderer at
1816, agent noun from philander (v.).
philanthrope (n.) Look up philanthrope at
1734, from Latin philanthropos, from Greek philanthropos "loving mankind" (see philanthropy).
philanthropic (adj.) Look up philanthropic at
1789, from French philanthropique (18c.), from Greek philanthropikos (adj.), from philanthropia "humanity, benevolence, kindliness" (see philanthropy). Related: Philanthropical; philanthropically (1787).
philanthropist (n.) Look up philanthropist at
1731, from philanthropy + -ist. Related: Philanthropism.
philanthropy (n.) Look up philanthropy at
c. 1600, from Late Latin philanthropia, from Greek philanthropia "kindliness, humanity, benevolence, love to mankind" (from gods, men, or things), from philanthropos (adj.) "loving mankind, useful to man," from phil- "loving" (see philo-) + anthropos "mankind" (see anthropo-). Originally in English in the Late Latin form; modern spelling attested from 1620s.
philately (n.) Look up philately at
"stamp-collecting," 1865, from French philatélie, coined by French stamp collector Georges Herpin (in "Le Collectionneur de Timbres-poste," Nov. 15, 1864), from Greek phil- "loving" (see philo-) + ateleia "exemption from tax," the closest word Herpin could find in ancient Greek to the concept of "postage stamp" (from a- "without" + telos "tax;" see toll (n.)). A reminder of the original function of postage stamps, now often forgotten: the cost of letter-carrying formerly was paid by the recipient; stamps indicated it had been pre-paid by the sender, thus the letters were "carriage-free."
It is a pity that for one of the most popular scientific pursuits one of the least popularly intelligible names should have been found. [Fowler]
Stampomania (1865) also was tried. Stamp-collecting is from 1862. Related: Philatelic; philatelism; philatelist.
Philemon Look up Philemon at
masc. proper name, in Greek mythology a pious man, husband of Baucis; from Greek philemon, literally "loving, affectionate," from philein "to love" (see philo-).
philharmonic (adj.) Look up philharmonic at
1813 (in the name of a society founded in London for the promotion of instrumental music), from French philharmonique (1739), from Italian filarmonico, literally "loving harmony," from Greek philos "loving" (see philo-) + ta harmonika "theory of harmony, music," from neuter plural of harmonikos (see harmonic). The Society name was taken up in the names of many symphony orchestras.
philhellene (adj.) Look up philhellene at
1824, "loving the Greeks," from Greek, from philos "loving" (see -phile) + Hellene "a Greek" (compare Hellenic). Originally in English in reference to the cause of Greek independence. Related: Philhellenic.
Philip Look up Philip at
masc. proper name, from Latin Philippus, from Greek Philippos "fond of horses," from philos "beloved, loving" (see philo-) + hippos "horse" (see equine). In 16c., Philip and Cheyney was a way to say "any two common men."
Philippa Look up Philippa at
fem. proper name, modern, fem. of Philip.
philippic (n.) Look up philippic at
1590s, "bitter invective discourse," from Middle French philippique, from Latin (orationes) Philippicæ, translation of Greek Philippikoi (logoi), the speeches made in Athens by Demosthenes in 351-341 B.C.E. urging Greeks to unite and fight the rising power of Philip II of Macedon. The Latin phrase was used of the speeches made by Cicero against Marc Antony in 44 and 43 B.C.E.
Philippines Look up Philippines at
from Spanish Islas Filipinas, literally "the islands of Philip," named for Philip II, king of Spain. Related: Philippine.
Philistine Look up Philistine at
Old Testament people of coastal Palestine who made war on the Israelites, early 14c., from Old French Philistin, from Late Latin Philistinus, from Late Greek Philistinoi (plural), from Hebrew P'lishtim, "people of P'lesheth" ("Philistia"); compare Akkad. Palastu, Egyptian Palusata; the word probably is the people's name for itself.
philistine (n.) Look up philistine at
"person deficient in liberal culture," 1827, originally in Carlyle, popularized by him and Matthew Arnold, from German Philister "enemy of God's word," literally "Philistine," inhabitants of a Biblical land, neighbors (and enemies) of Israel (see Philistine). Popularized in German student slang (supposedly first in Jena, late 17c.) as a contemptuous term for "townies," and hence, by extension, "any uncultured person." Philistine had been used in a humorous figurative sense of "the enemy" in English from c. 1600.
Phillips Look up Phillips at
proper name of a cross-slot screw and corresponding screwdriver, 1935, named for its inventor, U.S. businessman Henry F. Phillips (1890-1958) of Portland, Ore. It was designed for car makers, hence the handyman's complaint that they are difficult to un-screw. Phillips lost the patent in 1949.
Philly Look up Philly at
familiar or colloquial shortening of Philadelphia, attested by 1890, but from 1858 as the popular name of a ferry boat of that name that crossed the Delaware River from the city to Camden, and a city baseball team has been the Phillies since 1883.
philo- Look up philo- at
before vowels phil-, word-forming element meaning "loving, fond of, tending to," from Greek philo-, comb. form of philos "dear" (adj.), "friend" (n.), from philein "to love," of unknown origin. Productive of a great many compounds in ancient Greek.