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variant of phyllo- before a vowel: phyllite.
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Other definitions for phyll- (2 of 2)


variant of -phyllo as final element of compound words: sporophyll.
Also -phyl.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does -phyll mean?

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

The form –phyll 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 –phyll?

In some rare instances, –phyll is spelled without the terminal –l, becoming phyl, as in xanthophyl.

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

Examples of -phyll

A term from botany that features the form –phyll is megaphyll, “the relatively large type of leaf produced by ferns and seed plants.”

The mega part of the word megaphyll means “large” or “great,” from Greek mégas. As we have seen, the form –phyll means “leaf.” Megaphyll literally translates to “large leaf.”

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

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

Break it down!

The combining form sclero means “hard.” With this in mind, what is the plant condition sclerophyll?

How to use phyll- in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for phyll-



n combining form

Word Origin for -phyll

from Greek phullon
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