philo-, phil-, -phile, -philia, -philic, -philous, -phily, -philiac, -philist, -philism

(Greek: love, loving, friendly to, fondness for, attraction to; strong tendency toward, affinity for)

These are just a few of the meanings set up for the etymological meanings of philo- which comes to us from Greek.

In biology, there are many words that use philo-, phil- to mean "thriving in such and such a place or situation; or exhibiting a tendency for a specified condition" for its existence.

Other meanings include: "strongly attracted to; such as, an organism that loves or is strongly attracted to something which is specified".

In psychology and psychiatry, -phile, -philia, etc. use this element as a word termination indicating an abnormal craving or attraction to or an affinity for an object as shown by the word stems to which they are affixed.

phreatophily (s) (noun) (no pl)
The feature of a life form growing in groundwater surroundings: Before reading about phreatophily, Mark certainly didn't realize that there were microscopic creatures that lived in water under the ground, like in the water found in wells.
phretophile (s) (noun), phretophiles (pl)
An organism that thrives in water tanks: Algae is a phretophile that can grow in a tank that holds the water used to flush a toilet.
phretophilous (adjective), more phretophilous, most phretophilous
In biology, descriptive of a life form that develops in water tanks: It is possible to eliminate phretophilous algae from a water receptacle when a person knows the reason why algae grows in the first place.
phycophile (s) (noun), phycophiles (pl)
A form of life that grows in algae-rich environments or thrives on algae: There are many organisms that eat algae, like crustaceans, zooplankton, and tadpoles and they are all termed phycophiles.
phycophilic (adjective), more phycophilic, most phycophilic
Pertaining to an organism that develops in habitats rich in algae or even eats algae: A few phycophilic creatures that love algae as their source of food are the algae eaters (algivore), small fish, and water-dwelling insects.
phycophily (s) (noun) (no pl)
The preference of organisms to live in algae-rich environments or to thrive on algae for nourishment: When Jane read about phycophily in her textbook, she found out that aquatic creatures, like the tadpole and small fish, loved to consume algae for their food!
physiophilosophy (s) (noun), physiophilosophies (pl)
A well-informed aspect of the principles of natural history: The theory or system of physiophilosophy was created by Lorenz Oken (1779–1851), who tried to form nature, in thought, a priori.
phytophilist (s) (noun), phytophilists (pl)
A collector of plants: Jack loved botany and wanted to have as many kinds of plants, like flowers, shrubs, bushes, and trees, in his garden as possible, and his friends said that he certainly was a phytophilist.
phytophilous (adjective) (not comparable)
Referring to an organism that exists in the proximity of plants: Some phytophilous animals that live close to vegetation and graze on grass are cows and buffaloes, and, of course, some small creatures, like squirrels and mice also feed on plants.
phytophily (s) (noun), phytophilies (pl)
The love of plants: In the book on phytophily, Mrs. Lawson was especially interested in hydrangeas that she wanted to plant in her garden.
pirinophilist (s) (noun), pirinophilists (pl)
A collector of cotton reels: Since Jane loved sewing and weaving, and as a pirinophilist, she had acquired quite an assortment of spools and bobbins that were used to keep cotton thread neat and orderly, but she used only the new ones that fit her sewing machine and spinning wheel.
pirinophily (s) (noun) (no pl)
The fondness of cotton reels: Since Mrs. Thread was very interested in pirinophily, she finally found a book on the subject at the local antiquarian bookshop, and so she could read about all the antique bobbins she had collected over the years.
planktophilous (adjective) (not comparable)
In biology, regarding a life form that lives or thrives in plankton: Some planktophilous creatures can be small protozoans or metazoans.
pluviophile (s) (noun), pluviophiles (pl)
1. Anyone or anything that has a fondness for or a desire for rain: There are many plants that are pluviophiles because they need an abundance of rain in order to survive and to reproduce.
2. Etymology: literally, "a love or fondness for rain" from pluvio-, "rain" + phile, "fondness, love".
pluviophilous (adjective), more pluviophilous, most pluviophilous
In biology, relating to creatures and plants that can thrive where large amounts of rainfall exist: The Amazon River is in a region with pluviophilous rain forests, where plants grow in hot, humid, and very wet weather conditions.

More pluviophilous species of plants and animals live in the tropical rain forest than in all of the rest of the biomes (living areas) of the world put together.

—Compiled from excerpts in
Biology of Plants by Peter H. Raven and Helena Curtis;
Worth Publishers, Inc.; New York; 1970; page 558.
Quiz button #1 You may take a self-scoring quiz over some of the words in this section by just clicking this Philo Quiz #1 link.

Related "love, fondness" units: agape-; amat-; vener-; venus.