Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: -phile, -philic

Water Bear
This tiny aquatic invertebrate is called a Tardigrade or water bear. It is a highly resistant extremophilic animal, capable of inhabiting a vast range of altitudes, depths, salinities and temperature ranges, commonly found on mosses or lichens. Photolibrary/Oxford Scientific/Getty Image

Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: -phile, -philic


The suffix (-phile) comes from the Greek philos which means to love. Words that end with phile refer to someone or something that loves or has a fondness of, attraction to, or affection for something. It also means to have a tendency toward something. Related terms include (-philic),(-philia), and (-philo).

Suffix: -phile


Acidophile (acido-phile) - an organism that thrives in acidic environments.

Electrophile (electro-phile) - a compound that is attracted to and accepts electrons in a chemical reaction.

Extremophile (extremo-phile) - an organism that lives and thrives in extreme environments such as volcanic environments, salty environments, and highly acidic environments.

Halophile (halo-phile) - a microorganism, such as an archaean, that thrives in environments with high salt concentrations such as salt lakes.

Pedophile (pedo-phile) - one who has an abnormal attraction to or affection for children.

Xenophile (xeno-phile) - one who is attracted to all things foreign including people, languages, and cultures.

Zoophile (zoo-phile) - one who loves animals. It can also refer to people who have an abnormal sexual attraction to animals.

Suffix: -philia


Hemophilia (hemo-philia) - sex-linked blood disorder characterized by excessive bleeding due to a defect in a blood clotting factor.

A person with hemophilia has a tendency toward bleed uncontrollably.

Necrophilia (necro-philia) - having an abnormal fondness of or attraction to dead bodies.

Spasmophilia (spasmo-philia) - condition in which motor neurons are overly sensitive and produce a tendency toward convulsions or spasms.

Suffix: -philic


Eosinophilic (eosino-philic) - cells or tissues that are readily stained with eosin dye.

Hydrophilic (hydro-philic) - having a strong attraction to or affinity for water.

Oxyphilic (oxy-philic) - cells or tissues that have an affinity for acid dyes.

Photophilic (photo-philic) - relating to organisms that are attracted to and thrive in light.

Thermophilic (thermo-philic) - relating to the love of heat or hot environments.

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Bailey, Regina. "Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: -phile, -philic." ThoughtCo, Oct. 26, 2015, Bailey, Regina. (2015, October 26). Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: -phile, -philic. Retrieved from Bailey, Regina. "Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: -phile, -philic." ThoughtCo. (accessed January 20, 2018).