phase out: meaning and explanation

to phase something out = to gradually remove or eliminate something over a period of time. e.g. I’m afraid the company has decided to phase out the free gym membership scheme. You’ll still be able to use your cards until they expire, but after this they will not be renewed.

If you decide to phase something out, you have decided to get rid of it, but you will not do this all in one go. Instead, you will do it in stages.

Have a go at these micro-dictation exercises to hear this expression being used in context – how much can you understand?

Listening exercises

Micro-listening #1

Accent: Scotland

they’re out 1 2p .

About the sentence


Apparently is a word we can use to introduce something which we have heard, but which we are not sure is true or correct. This is a useful word for introducing gossip. e.g. Apparently, Jim is going to propose to Linda next weekend.

Micro-listening #2

Accent: North America

engine is these days – the manufacturer years ago.

Micro-listening #3

Accent: Wales

hasn’t my entire department to be .

About the sentence

…It still hasn’t sunk in…

The phrasal verb to sink in can be used to describe the gradual understanding or acceptance of some news or an event which is hard to process. e.g. Congratulations on winning the lottery! Has it sunk in yet?

You can practise this phrasal verb here.

Extra practice

Here are some questions/links to help you learn the new vocabulary:

  • Can you think of an example of something which has been phased out in your country?
  • Is there anything that you think should be phased out?

Photo by Michael Longmire on Unsplash