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variant of phylo- before a vowel: phylic.
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Other definitions for phyl- (2 of 2)


variant of -phyll.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does -phyl mean?

The combining formphyl is used like a suffix meaning “leaf.” It is occasionally used in scientific terms, especially in biology.

The form –phyl comes from Greek phýllon, meaning “leaf.” The Latin cognate of phýllon is folium, also meaning “leaf,” which is the source of words such as foil, foliage, and folio. To learn more, check out our entries for these three terms.

What are variants of –phyl?

In most instances, –phyl is spelled with an additional terminal –l, becoming phyll, as in microphyll.

When combined as the first element of the word, the form –phyl becomes phyllo or phyll, as in phyllophore. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use articles on –phyl, phyllo-, and phyl-.

Examples of -phyl

An example of a term you may have come across that features the form –phyl is chlorophyl, also spelled chlorophyll, “the green coloring matter of leaves and plants.”

The chloro part of the word chlorophyl means “green,” from Greek chlōrós. As we have seen, the form –phyl means “leaf.” Chlorophyl literally translates to “green leaf.”

What are some words that use the combining form –phyl?

What are some other forms that –phyll may be commonly confused with?

Break it down!

The combining form xantho means “yellow.” With this in mind, what does xanthophyl literally mean?

How to use phyl- in a sentence