[fahy-luh m] /ˈfaɪ ləm/

noun, plural phyla
[fahy-luh] /ˈfaɪ lə/ (Show IPA)
Biology. the primary subdivision of a taxonomic kingdom, grouping together all classes of organisms that have the same body plan.
Linguistics. a category consisting of language stocks that, because of cognates in vocabulary, are considered likely to be related by common origin.
Compare (def 13).
noun (pl) -la (-lə)
a major taxonomic division of living organisms that contain one or more classes. An example is the phylum Arthropoda (insects, crustaceans, arachnids, etc, and myriapods)
any analogous group, such as a group of related language families or linguistic stocks

“division of the plant or animal kingdom,” 1868, Modern Latin, coined by French naturalist Georges Léopole Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert, Baron Cuvier (1769-1832) from Greek phylon “race, stock,” related to phyle “tribe, clan” (see physic). The immediate source of the English word probably is from German.

phylum phy·lum (fī’ləm)
n. pl. phy·la (-lə)
A taxonomic category that is a primary division of a kingdom and ranks above a class in size.
Plural phyla
A group of organisms ranking above a class and below a kingdom. See Table at taxonomy.
phylum [(feye-luhm)]

plur. phyla

One of the major divisions of the kingdoms of living things; the second-largest standard unit of biological classification. The arthropods, chordates, and mollusks are phyla. Phyla in the plant kingdom are frequently called divisions. (See Linnean classification.)


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  • Phyma

    [fahy-muh] /ˈfaɪ mə/ noun, plural phymas, phymata [fahy-muh-tuh] /ˈfaɪ mə tə/ (Show IPA). Pathology. 1. a nodule, swelling, or small, rounded tumor of the skin. phyma phy·ma (fī’mə) n. A nodule or small rounded tumor of the skin.

  • Phymatosis

    phymatosis phy·ma·to·sis (fī’mə-tō’sĭs) n. The occurrence or growth of phymas in the skin.

  • Phys-

    phys- pref. Variant of physio-.

  • Physaliform

    physaliform phy·sal·i·form (fī-sāl’ə-fôrm’, fĭ-) adj. Resembling a bubble or bubbles.

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