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a combining form used to form personal nouns corresponding to nouns ending in -phobia: Anglophobe.
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Also -phobiac.

Origin of -phobe

From Greek -phobos, adjectival derivative of phóbos “panic fear”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does -phobe mean?

The combining form -phobe is used like a suffix to indicate the personal noun form of words that use the form -phobia, meaning “fear.” The form -phobe roughly means “someone with a fear.” It is often used in scientific terms, especially in psychology and biology.

The form -phobe comes from Greek phóbos, meaning “fear” or “panic.” The Latin translation is timor, “fear,” which is the source of words such as timid and timorous.

What are variants of –phobe?

A less common variant of -phobe is -phobiac, as in agoraphobiac.

The form -phobe is also related to two other combining forms: -phobia and -phobic. Want to know more? Check out our Words that Use articles for each form.

Examples of -phobe

An example of a scientific term that features -phobe is hydrophobe, “a hydrophobic, or water-repelling, substance.”

The hydro- part of the word likely looks familiar; it means “water,” from Greek hýdōr. The -phobe part of the term means “someone with a fear,” and hydrophobe literally translates to “water-fearer.”

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

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

Break it down!

The combining form xeno- means “alien” or “strange.” With this in mind, what does xenophobe mean?

How to use -phobe in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for -phobe


n combining form
indicating a person or thing that fears or hatesGermanophobe; xenophobe

Derived forms of -phobe

-phobic, adj combining form

Word Origin for -phobe

from Greek -phobos fearing
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 -phobe


One that fears or is averse to a specified thing:xenophobe.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.