[ troh-fee ]
/ ˈtroʊ fi /
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See synonyms for: trophy / trophies on Thesaurus.com

noun, plural tro·phies.
noting or relating to a symbol of success that is used to impress others: They just want a near-perfect trophy child to brag about.
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Origin of trophy

1505–15; earlier trophe<French trophée<Latin trop(h)aeum<Greek trópaion, noun use of neuter of trópaios,Attic variant of tropaîos of turning or putting to flight, equivalent to trop() a turning (akin to trépein to turn) + -aios adj. suffix. See trope


tro·phy·less, adjective

Other definitions for trophy (2 of 2)


a combining form used in the formation of nouns with the general senses “nourishment, feeding” (mycotrophy), “growth” (hypertrophy); also forming abstract nouns corresponding to adjectives ending in -trophic.

Origin of -trophy

<Greek -trophia nutrition, equivalent to troph() food + -ia-y3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does -trophy mean?

The combining form -trophy is used like a suffix variously meaning “nourishment, feeding, growth.” It is also used to form nouns corresponding to adjectives ending in -trophic. The combining -trophy is often used in medical and scientific terms.

The form -trophy comes from the Greek trophḗ, meaning “nourishment,” “food.”

You may be familiar with terms like atrophy (equivalent to the Greek átrophos) from the Greek and dystrophy (from the New Latin dystrophia). Find out how these relate to -trophy and “nourishment” at our entries for these words.

Corresponding forms of –trophy combined to the beginning of words are tropho- and troph-. Another form closely related to -trophy is -troph.

Examples of -trophy

One example of a word that uses the form -trophy is hypotrophy. Hypotrophy is “progressive degeneration of an organ or tissue caused by loss of cells.”

The first part of the word is hypo-, which you might recognize from words like hypodermic. It means “under.” And as we’ve seen, -trophy means “nourishment.” Hypotrophy, then, has a literal sense of “being under-nourished.”

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

What are some other forms that -trophy may be commonly confused with?

The word trophy, as you might get for winning a competition, doesn’t share the same root as -trophy despite having the same letters. The prized trophy is actually related to the combining forms tropo- and trop- as well the word trope. Learn more at our entries for the words.

Break it down!

The combining form myo- means “muscle.” With this in mind, myotrophy involves nourishment of what parts of the body?

How to use trophy in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for trophy (1 of 2)

/ (ˈtrəʊfɪ) /

noun plural -phies
an object such as a silver or gold cup that is symbolic of victory in a contest, esp a sporting contest; prize
a memento of success, esp one taken in war or hunting
(in ancient Greece and Rome)
  1. a memorial to a victory, usually consisting of captured arms raised on the battlefield or in a public place
  2. a representation of such a memorial
an ornamental carving that represents a group of weapons, etc
(modifier) informal highly desirable and regarded as a symbol of wealth or successa trophy wife

Word Origin for trophy

C16: from French trophée, from Latin tropaeum, from Greek tropaion, from tropē a turning, defeat of the enemy; related to Greek trepein to turn

British Dictionary definitions for trophy (2 of 2)


n combining form
indicating a certain type of nourishment or growthdystrophy

Derived forms of -trophy

-trophic, adj combining form

Word Origin for -trophy

from Greek -trophia, from trophē nourishment
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