a combining form appearing in loanwords from Greek, where it meant “loving” (philology); on this model, used in the formation of compound words (philoprogenitive).
Also especially before a vowel, phil-.
Origin of philo-
< Greek, combining form of phílos loving, dear
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
before a vowel phil-
indicating a love ofphilology; philanthropic
Word Origin for philo-
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
before vowels phil-, word-forming element meaning "loving, fond of, tending to," from Greek philo-, comb. form of philos "dear" (adj.), "friend" (n.), from philein "to love," of unknown origin. Productive of a great many compounds in ancient Greek.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper