• synonyms


noun, plural phy·lae [fahy-lee] /ˈfaɪ li/.
  1. (in ancient Greece) a tribe or clan, based on supposed kinship.
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Origin of phyle

1860–65; < Greek phȳlḗ, akin to phŷlon phylon
Related formsphy·lic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for phyle

Historical Examples

  • As to the men of Phyle, they too blocked the street at the opposite end, and facing the foe.



  • Hence, he adds, were derived the names of the demes in the Dionysiac phyle at Alexandria, viz.

    Problems in Greek history

    John Pentland Mahaffy

  • There was a marked rustle of the curtains in front of Professor Phyle at this episode.

  • There was Professor Phyle, the celebrated phrenologist—a tall man, with a gaunt face and long gray hair.

  • Professor Phyle, who had stuck his head out of the curtains, drew it in again suddenly, like the timid turtle.

British Dictionary definitions for phyle


noun plural -lae (-liː)
  1. a tribe or clan of an ancient Greek people such as the Ionians
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Derived Formsphylic, adjective

Word Origin

C19: from Greek phulē tribe, clan
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