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a combining form appearing in loanwords from Greek, where it meant “loving” (philology); on this model, used in the formation of compound words (philoprogenitive).
combining form
indicating a love of: philology, philanthropic

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.


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  • Philoctetes

    [fil-uh k-tee-teez] /ˌfɪl əkˈti tiz/ noun 1. Classical Mythology. a noted archer and squire of Hercules. Bitten by a snake and abandoned on an island because of his festering wound, he was at length brought by the Greeks to Troy, where he recovered and later killed Paris. 2. (italics) a tragedy (408? b.c.) by Sophocles. […]

  • Philodendron

    [fil-uh-den-druh n] /ˌfɪl əˈdɛn drən/ noun 1. a tropical American climbing plant belonging to the genus Philodendron, of the arum family, usually having smooth, shiny, evergreen leaves, often used as an ornamental houseplant. /ˌfɪləˈdɛndrən/ noun (pl) -drons, -dra (-drə) 1. any aroid evergreen climbing plant of the tropical American genus Philodendron: cultivated as house plants […]

  • Philography

    [fi-log-ruh-fee] /fɪˈlɒg rə fi/ noun 1. the collecting of autographs, especially those of famous persons.

  • Philogyny

    [fi-loj-uh-nee] /fɪˈlɒdʒ ə ni/ noun 1. love of or liking for women. /fɪˈlɒdʒɪnɪ/ noun 1. (rare) fondness for women Compare misogyny

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