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a combining form used in the formation of compound words that have the general sense “love or liking” (homophily,notaphily); used especially in biological and chemical terms (hydrophily).
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Origin of -phily

From -phil(e) + -y3; see also -philia
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does -phily ​mean?

The combining form -phily is used like a suffix meaning “love” or “liking.” It is occasionally used in scientific terms, especially in biology and chemistry.

The form -phily is made from a combination of two combining forms. The first is -phile, from Greek phílos, meaning “dear, beloved.” The second form is the suffix -y, which ultimately comes from Greek -ia, an ending used to form abstract nouns.

While -phily doesn’t have any variants, it is closely related to six other combining forms: -phile, -philia, -philiac, -philic, -philism, and -philous. Want to know more? Check out our Words that Use articles for each form.

Examples of -phily

An example of a term from biology that features the form -phily is ornithophily, “pollination of flowers by birds.”

The form ornitho- means “bird,” from Greek órnīs. The form -phily, as we’ve seen, means “love” or “liking.” Ornithophily literally translates to “bird-liking.”

What are some words that use the combining form –phily?

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

The combining form -phily should not be confused with Philly, common nickname for the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Break it down!

The combining form biblio- means “book.” With this in mind, what does the term bibliophily mean in everyday language?