[pol-ee-fey-jee-uh, -juh]


Pathology. excessive desire to eat.
Zoology. the habit of subsisting on many different kinds of food.

Origin of polyphagia

1685–95; < New Latin < Greek polyphagía; see poly-, -phagy
Related formspol·y·pha·gi·an, noun, adjectivepo·lyph·a·gist [puh-lif-uh-jist] /pəˈlɪf ə dʒɪst/, nounpo·lyph·a·gous [puh-lif-uh-guh s] /pəˈlɪf ə gəs/, pol·y·phag·ic [pol-ee-faj-ik, -fey-jik] /ˌpɒl iˈfædʒ ɪk, -ˈfeɪ dʒɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for polyphagic

Historical Examples of polyphagic

  • In fact, he never envied the pork-eating Americans, the beef-eating English, or the polyphagic French.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

British Dictionary definitions for polyphagic



  1. an abnormal desire to consume excessive amounts of food, esp as the result of a neurological disorder
  2. an insatiable appetite
the habit of certain animals, esp certain insects, of feeding on many different types of food
Derived Formspolyphagous (pəˈlɪfəɡəs), adjective

Word Origin for polyphagia

C17: New Latin, from Greek, from poluphagos eating much; see poly-, -phagy
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 polyphagic



1690s, "eating to excess," medical Latin, from Greek polyphagia "excess in eating," from polyphagos "eating to excess," from polys "much" (see poly-) + phagein "to eat" (see -phagous). Attested from 1890 in sense "feeding on various kinds of food." Nativized as polyphagy. Related: Polyphagic; polyphagous.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

polyphagic in Medicine




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