The Meaning of Phoenix: What It Is and How To Use It

Have you ever wondered about the definition of phoenix? This article will provide you with all of the info you need on the word phoenix, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What is the meaning of the phoenix?

According to World Birds and Your Dictionary of the English language, the phoenix is a mythological bird that rises from the ashes reborn after death. This bird symbolizes rebirth and eternity, and represents hope. This legendary Arabian bird is said to burn itself on a funeral pyre or altar every 500 to 600 years and then live on for another cycle of years. At the end of its life, it is said that it builds a nest of incense twigs to die in. Then, a small worm transforms into a new phoenix. It is also said in legend that the bird is covered in myrrh and comes to the temple of the sun to regenerate. The phoenix has feathers similar to an eagle, a heron, or a Bennu, another mythological bird in Egyptian mythology which is said to control the flooding of the Nile. Phoenix is two syllables – phoe-nix, and the pronunciation of phoenix is ˈfiːnɪks. 

Ancient Greeks associated this bird with regeneration and rebirth, as did the Egyptians. In fact, the origin of the phoenix bird has been attributed by 19th century scholars like historian Herodotus to Ancient Egypt and the people of Heliopolis. In China and other parts of Asia, this bird symbolizes yin and yang as well as male and female. This exemplifies a variety of heraldic emblems and is also the name of a 17th century constellation in the Souther hemisphere near Tucana and the Sculptor, between Grus and Eridanus. In classical mythology, this is the brother of Cadmus and Europa, and the eponymous ancestor of the Phoenicians. The phoenix is an emblem of immortality and reborn idealism, as well as the freshness of youth one can find at any time in their life. 

The word phoenix can also be used to refer to a person or thing who is a paragon of beauty or excellence, especially one that has been restored or renewed after some calamity or apparent annihilation. In botany, it is also a large monocotyledonous genus of pinnate-leaved palms.

According to Etymonline, the word phoenix comes from the Middle English fenix, Old English fenix and Old French fenix, the Medieval Latin phenix/medieval Latin fēnix, from Latin phoenix, from Greek phoinix phoenician

Phoenix is also the capital of Arizona located on the Salt River, and the largest city of Arizona. This capital city of the state is located in central Arizona. This central part of Arizona was a former desert, but thanks to irrigation has become a prosperous agricultural area thanks to technological advancements. According to Zumper, Phoenix is the only state capital that has a population of over a million residents. This is the most populous state capital in the United States and the fifth most populous city in the nation. Phoenix does not participate in daylight savings time. Phoenix is located in the Sonoran Desert, which is one of the wettest and greenest deserts in North America. It is roughly 1100 feet above sea level. It is extremely hot in Phoenix, and there are over 100 days a year where the temperature reaches over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Below is a list of other sorts of state capital in the United States of America, from Britannica.

  •  New Mexico – Santa Fe
  •  New York – Albany
  •  North Carolina – Raleigh
  •  Louisiana – Baton Rouge
  •  North Dakota – Bismarck
  •  Nebraska – Lincoln
  •  Maine – Augusta
  •  Alabama – Montgomery
  •  Indiana – Indianapolis
  •  Hawaii – Honolulu
  •  South Dakota – Pierre
  •  Colorado – Denver 
  •  Nevada – Carson City
  •  Oregon – Salem
  •  Wyoming – Cheyenne
  •  Missouri – Jefferson City
  •  Georgia – Atlanta
  •  Iowa – Des Moines
  •  Alaska – Juneau
  •  Oklahoma – Oklahoma City
  •  Washington – Olympia
  •  Illinois – Springfield
  •  West Virginia – Charleston
  •  Massachusetts – Boston
  •  Montana – Helena
  •  Tennessee – Nashville
  •  Michigan – Lansing
  •  Utah – Salt Lake City
  •  Texas – Austin
  •  Ohio – Columbus
  •  Idaho – Boise
  •  Minnesota – Saint Paul
  •  Mississippi – Jackson
  •  Arkansas – Little Rock
  •  South Carolina – Columbia
  •  Kentucky – Frankfort
  •  Delaware – Dover
  •  Virginia – Richmond
  •  Rhode Island – Providence
  •  Vermont – Montpelier
  •  Florida – Tallahassee 
  •  Pennsylvania – Harrisburg
  •  Maryland – Annapolis
  •  Wisconsin – Madison
  •  Connecticut – Hartford
  •  California – Sacramento
  •  New Jersey – Trenton
  •  Kansas – Topeka
  •  New Hampshire – Concord 

There are numerous other mythical birds that you may hear about. These are listed below, from Feather Folio.

  •  Limokon
  •  Minokawa
  •  Cinnamon bird
  •  Chamrosh
  •  Itsumade
  •  Swan maiden
  •  Gamayun
  •  Devil Bird
  •  Anqa
  •  Fionnuala
  •  Aethon
  •  The Cu Bird
  •  Akhty (deity)
  •  The Bird Lover
  •  Nine-headed Bird
  •  Alicanto
  •  Tsuru no Ongaeshi
  •  Amihan (mythology)
  •  Vucub Caquix
  •  Inmyeonjo
  •  Sirin
  •  Siren (mythology)
  •  Aosaginohi
  •  Bennu
  •  Byangoma
  •  Aello
  •  Ziz
  •  Adar Rhiannon
  •  Furaribi
  •  Sharabha
  •  Pamola
  •  Hercinia
  •  Thunderbird (mythology)
  •  Holawaka
  •  Oshadagea
  •  Gagana
  •  Caladrius
  •  Belled buzzard
  •  Konrul
  •  Jarita
  •  Piasa
  •  What the Rose did to the Cypress
  •  Huma bird
  •  Sampati
  •  Minka Bird
  •  Adar Llwch Gwin
  •  Raróg
  •  Mbói Tu’ĩ
  •  Swallow (hieroglyph)
  •  Yosuzume
  •  Orphan Bird
  •  Ababil (mythology)
  •  Thoth
  •  Picolaton
  •  Boobrie
  •  List of avian humanoids
  •  Simurgh
  •  Tucana
  •  Avalerion
  •  Roc (mythology)
  •  Xecotcovach
  •  Elwetritsch
  •  Achiyalabopa
  •  Podarge
  •  Basan (legendary bird)
  •  Lightning bird
  •  Firebird (Slavic folklore)
  •  Hudhud (mythology)
  •  Chonchon
  •  Jian (bird)
  •  Procne
  •  Bar Juchne
  •  Mayura (mythology)
  •  Doves as symbols
  •  Tecumbalam
  •  Daramulum
  •  Keneu
  •  Warak ngendog
  •  Hakawai (mythology)
  •  Rooster (zodiac)
  •  Rain Bird (legend)
  •  Hamsa (bird)
  •  Fenghuang
  •  Ocypete
  •  Gandaberunda
  •  Cygnus (constellation)
  •  Bird goddess
  •  Stymphalian birds
  •  Broxa
  •  Lidérc
  •  Kalaviṅka
  •  List of phoenixes in popular culture
  •  Tigmamanukan
  •  Valravn
  •  Chickcharney
  •  Kinnara
  •  Achelois
  •  The king of the parakeets
  •  Chakora (mythology)
  •  Cikavac
  •  Liver bird
  •  Shahrokh (mythical bird)
  •  Bluebird of happiness
  •  Oozlum bird
  •  Martlet
  •  Eagle Spirit
  •  Tengu
  •  Cetan
  •  Giant penguin hoax
  •  Alkonost
  •  Hatsadiling

Overall, the word phoenix refers to a mythical bird of great beauty from the Arabian wilderness. This mythological bird represents rebirth and renewal and is said to rise from the ashes after its death. 


  1. Phoenix Meaning | Best 17 Definitions of Phoenix | Your Dictionary 
  3. List of state capitals in the United States | Britannica 
  4. Legendary and Mythic Birds | Featherfolio 
  5. 10 Fun Facts About Phoenix, Arizona | Zumper 
  6. phoenix | Origin and meaning of phoenix | Online Etymology Dictionary