[ fahy-luh ]
/ ˈfaɪ lə /


plural of phylum.

Nearby words

  1. phycomycete,
  2. phycomycosis,
  3. phyfe,
  4. phyfe, duncan,
  5. phyl-,
  6. phylacteric,
  7. phylacteries,
  8. phylactery,
  9. phylactic,
  10. phylakopi


[ fahy-lon ]
/ ˈfaɪ lɒn /

noun, plural phy·la [fahy-luh] /ˈfaɪ lə/.

a group that has a genetic relationship or common origin, as a race.

Origin of phylon

< New Latin < Greek phŷlon race, tribe, class, akin to phȳ́ein to bring forth, produce, be


[ fahy-luh m ]
/ ˈfaɪ ləm /

noun, plural phy·la [fahy-luh] /ˈfaɪ lə/.

Biology. the primary subdivision of a taxonomic kingdom, grouping together all classes of organisms that have the same body plan.
Linguistics. a category consisting of language stocks that, because of cognates in vocabulary, are considered likely to be related by common origin.Compare stock(def 13).

Origin of phylum

1875–80; < New Latin < Greek phŷlon tribe, stock; see phylon

Related formsphy·lar, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for phyla

British Dictionary definitions for phyla


/ (ˈfaɪlə) /


the plural of phylum


/ (ˈfaɪləm) /

noun plural -la (-lə)

a major taxonomic division of living organisms that contain one or more classes. An example is the phylum Arthropoda (insects, crustaceans, arachnids, etc, and myriapods)
any analogous group, such as a group of related language families or linguistic stocks

Word Origin for phylum

C19: New Latin, from Greek phulon race

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 phyla



"division of the plant or animal kingdom," 1868, Modern Latin, coined by French naturalist Georges Léopole Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert, Baron Cuvier (1769-1832) from Greek phylon "race, stock," related to phyle "tribe, clan" (see physic). The immediate source of the English word probably is from German.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for phyla


[ fīləm ]

n. pl. phy•la (-lə)

A taxonomic category that is a primary division of a kingdom and ranks above a class in size.

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

Science definitions for phyla


[ fīləm ]

Plural phyla

A group of organisms ranking above a class and below a kingdom. See Table at taxonomy.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for phyla


[ (feye-luhm) ]

plur. phyla

One of the major divisions of the kingdoms of living things; the second-largest standard unit of biological classification. The arthropods, chordates, and mollusks are phyla. Phyla in the plant kingdom are frequently called divisions. (See Linnean classification.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.