or fi·lo

[ fee-loh ]
/ ˈfi loʊ /
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noun Greek and Middle Eastern Cooking.
flaky, tissue-thin layers of pastry used in baked desserts and appetizers.
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Origin of phyllo

1945–50; <Modern Greek phýllo(n) literally, leaf; see phyllo-

Other definitions for phyllo (2 of 2)


a combining form meaning “leaf,” used in the formation of compound words: phyllopod.
Also phyll-, -phyll.

Origin of phyllo-

<Greek, combining form of phýllon
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does phyllo- mean?

Phyllo– is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “leaf.” It is often used in scientific terms, especially in biology.

Phyllo– 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 phyllo-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, phyllo– becomes phyll, as in phyllite.

When combined as a suffix at the end of the word, this combining form becomes phyll or phyl, as in chlorophyll. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use articles on phyll-, –phyll, and –phyl.

Examples of phyllo-

An example of a word that features the form phyllo– is phyllophagous, “feeding on leaves.”

The form phyllo– means “leaf,” and the –phagous part of the word means “eating” or “feeding on,” from Greek –phagos. Phyllophagous literally translates to “eating leaves.”

What are some words that use the combining form phyllo-?

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

Break it down!

The combining form phore means “thing or part bearing” or “bearer of.” With this in mind, what part of a palm is a phyllophore?

How to use phyllo in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for phyllo (1 of 2)

/ (ˈfɪləʊ) /

a variant of filo

Word Origin for phyllo

C20: from Greek: leaf

British Dictionary definitions for phyllo (2 of 2)


before a vowel phyll-

combining form

Word Origin for phyllo-

from Greek phullon leaf
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