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Origin of phage
Definition for phage (2 of 2)
Origin of -phage
WORDS THAT USE -PHAGE
What does -phage mean?
The form -phage ultimately comes from the Greek phageîn, meaning “to eat, devour.” This Greek root also helps form the word esophagus. Discover the connection at our entry for the word. The word phage, referring to a bacteriophage, is a shortened or independent use of the combining form -phage
Closely related to -phage are -phagia, -phagy, and -phagous. Their corresponding form combined to the beginning of words is phago-. Learn more about their specific applications at our Words That Use articles for the forms.
Examples of -phage
One example of a term that features the form -phage is bibliophage, a fancy term for a bookworm. A bibliophage is someone who is “an ardent reader.”
The first portion of the word, biblio-, may look familiar. It means “book,” from the Greek biblíon. As we have seen, -phage means “a thing that devours.” Bibliophage literally translates to “a thing that devours books.” Yum!
What are some words that use the combining form -phage?
- bacteriophage (using the equivalent form of -phage in French)
- macrophage (using the equivalent form of -phage in New Latin)
What are some other forms that -phage may be commonly confused with?