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a combining form meaning “lover of,” “enthusiast for” that specified by the initial element: Anglophile;bibliophile;demophile.
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Also -phil .

Origin of -phile

From Latin -philus, -phila, from Greek -philos “dear, beloved” (occurring in proper names). Compare French -phile
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does -phile mean?

The combining form -phile is used like a suffix meaning “lover of” or “enthusiast of.” It is often used in scientific and everyday terms, especially in biology and psychology.

The form -phile comes from Greek -philos, meaning “dear, beloved.” The Latin translation, cārus, is the source of words such as caress, charity, and cherish.

What are variants of -phile?

In some rare instances in scientific terms, -phile drops its final -e- to become -phil, as in chromophil.

Related to -phile are two other combining forms: -philia and -philiac. Want to know more? Check out our Words that Use articles for each form.

Examples of -phile

An example of a word you may have encountered that features -phile is audiophile, “a person who is especially interested in high-fidelity sound reproduction.”

The audio- part of the word probably looks familiar; it has a variety of meanings, including “sound reproduction,” from Latin audīre, meaning “to hear.” The form -phile means “lover of,” so audiophile literally translates to “lover of hearing.”

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

What are some other forms that -phile may be commonly confused with?

Break it down!

The combining form biblio- means “book.” With this in mind, what kind of person is a bibliophile?

How to use -phile in a sentence

  • They paid visits to the sacred island of Ebo opposite the town, and to the quarries of Phile, four miles away.

British Dictionary definitions for -phile



n combining form
indicating a person or thing having a fondness or preference for something specifiedbibliophile; Francophile

Word Origin for -phile

from Greek philos loving
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

Medical definitions for -phile


One that loves or has a strong affinity or preference for:thermophile.
Loving; having a strong affinity or preference for:basophil.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.