a combining form meaning “eating,” “feeding on,” “devouring” that specified by the initial element: creophagous; hylophagous; rhizophagous.

Nearby words

  1. -person,
  2. -petal,
  3. -pexy,
  4. -phage,
  5. -phagia,
  6. -phagy,
  7. -phane,
  8. -phany,
  9. -phasia,
  10. -phemia

Origin of -phagous

< Greek -phagos, adj. derivative of phágein to eat; see -ous

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

Word Origin and History for -phagous


word-forming element meaning "eating, feeding on," from Latin -phagus, from Greek -phagos "eater of," from phagein "to eat," literally "to have a share of food," from PIE root *bhag- "to share out, apportion, distribute," also "to get a share" (cf. Sanskrit bhajati "assigns, allots, apportions, enjoys, loves," bhagah "allotter, distributor, master, lord," bhaksati "eats, drinks, enjoys;" Persian bakhshidan "to give;" Old Church Slavonic bogatu "rich").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper