a combining form used in the formation of compound words that have the general sense “unnatural attraction” (necrophilia), “tendency” (hemophilia); also forming abstract nouns that correspond to adjectives ending in -philic or -philous or nouns ending in -phile.

Nearby words

  1. -phany,
  2. -phasia,
  3. -phemia,
  4. -phil,
  5. -phile,
  6. -philiac,
  7. -philic,
  8. -philism,
  9. -philous,
  10. -phily

Also -phily.

Origin of -philia

< Greek philía friendship, affinity; see -phile, -ia

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

British Dictionary definitions for -philia


n combining form

indicating a tendency towardshaemophilia
indicating an abnormal liking fornecrophilia
Derived Forms-philiac, n combining form

Word Origin for -philia

from Greek philos loving

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 -philia


word-forming element meaning "friendship, fondness, tendency toward," and in recent use "abnormal attraction to," from Greek philia "affection," from philos "loving," of uncertain origin. Related: -philic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for -philia



Tendency toward:hemophilia.
Abnormal attraction to:necrophilia.

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