All Words > Phatic

illustration Phatic



Part of speech: adjective

Origin: Greek, 1920s


Denoting or relating to language used for general purposes of social interaction, rather than to convey information or ask questions.

Examples of Phatic in a sentence

"Ariana wasn’t a fan of phatic phrases from her students."

"Tenelle always greeted people with one-word phatic utterances."

About Phatic

This term was coined by Polish-born British anthropologist Bronisław Malinowski, stemming from the Greek “phatos,” meaning "spoken, that may be spoken."

Did you Know?

It seems safe to assume that “emphatic” comes from the same roots as “phatic.” Guess again. While “phatic” comes from the Greek “phatos” (meaning spoken), “emphatic” comes from the Latinized form of the Greek “emphatikos,” a variant of “emphantikos.” That originated from “emphainein” (emphasis) and “emphatical,” an earlier usage that means "strongly expressive."

illustration Phatic

Recent Words

What's the word?