a combining form meaning “a thing that devours,” used in the formation of compound words, especially the names of phagocytes: macrophage.

Nearby words

  1. -pede,
  2. -penia,
  3. -person,
  4. -petal,
  5. -pexy,
  6. -phagia,
  7. -phagous,
  8. -phagy,
  9. -phane,
  10. -phany

Also -phag.

Origin of -phage

noun use of Greek -phagos -phagous

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for -phage


n combining form

indicating something that eats or consumes something specifiedbacteriophage
Derived Forms-phagous, adj combining form

Word Origin for -phage

from Greek -phagos; see phago-

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for -phage


word-forming element meaning "eater," from stem of Greek phagein "to eat" (see -phagous).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for -phage



One that eats:macrophage.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.