- 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
Examples from the Web for phylum
Little by little the phylum has been shorn of orders and classes.
Luminescence is more widespread in this phylum and more characteristic of the group as a whole than any other.The Nature of Animal Light
E. Newton Harvey
Hence these five backboned classes may be brought together into a higher group called a branch or phylum.Elementary Zoology, Second Edition
Vernon L. Kellogg
The higher animals begin with the twelfth phylum, namely, the Chordata, or vertebrates.
The phylum also includes, as one of its large suborders, all the snails and slugs that are to be found crawling upon the land.
- 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 and History for phylum
"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.
- A taxonomic category that is a primary division of a kingdom and ranks above a class in size.
- A group of organisms ranking above a class and below a kingdom. See Table at taxonomy.