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

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).

Words Ending With (-Phile)

Acidophile (acido-phile): Organisms that thrive in acidic environments are called acidophiles. They include some bacteria, archaeans, and fungi.

Alkaliphile (alkali-phile): Alkaliphiles are organisms that thrive in alkaline environments with a pH above 9. They live in habitats such as carbonate-rich soils and alkaline lakes.

Barophile (baro-phile): Barophiles are organisms that live in high-pressure habitats, such as deep-sea environments.

Electrophile (electro-phile): An electrophile is 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 is known as an extremophile. Such habitats include volcanic, salty, or deep-sea environments.

Halophile (halo-phile): A haloophile is an organism that thrives in environments with high salt concentrations, such as salt lakes.

Pedophile (pedo-phile): A pedophile is an individual who has an abnormal attraction to or affection for children.

Psychrophile (psychro-phile): An organism that thrives in very cold or frozen environments is a psychrophile. They live in polar regions and deep sea habitats.

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

Zoophile (zoo-phile): An individual who loves animals is a zoophile. This term can also refer to people who have an abnormal sexual attraction to animals.

Words Ending With (-Philia)

Acrophilia (acro-philia): Acrophilia is a love of heights or elevated regions.

Algophilia (algo-philia): Algophilia is a love of pain.

Autophilia (auto-philia): Autophilia is a narcissistic type of self-love.

Basophilia (baso-philia): Basophilia describes cells or cell components that are attracted to basic dyes. White blood cells called basophils are examples of this type of cell. Basophilia also describes a blood condition in which there is an increase in basophils in circulation.

Hemophilia (hemo-philia): Hemophilia is a 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 bleeding uncontrollably.

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

Spasmophilia (spasmo-philia): This nervous system condition involves motor neurons that are overly sensitive and induce convulsions or spasms.

Words Ending With (-Philic)

Aerophilic (aero-philic): Aerophilic organisms depend on oxygen or air for survival.

Eosinophilic (eosino-philic): Cells or tissues that are readily stained with eosin dye are called eosinophilic. White blood cells called eosinophils are examples of eosinophilic cells.

Hemophilic (hemo-philic): This term refers to organisms, particularly bacteria, that have an affinity for red blood cells and grow well in blood cultures. It also refers to individuals with hemophilia.

Hydrophilic (hydro-philic): This term describes a substance that has a strong attraction to or affinity for water.

Oleophilic (oleo-philic): Substances that have a strong affinity for oil are called oleophilic.

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

Photophilic (photo-philic): Organisms that are attracted to and thrive in light are known as photophilic organisms.

Thermophilic (thermo-philic): Thermophilic organisms are those that live and thrive in hot environments.

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Bailey, Regina. "Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: -Phile, -Philic." ThoughtCo, Jul. 29, 2021, Bailey, Regina. (2021, July 29). Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: -Phile, -Philic. Retrieved from Bailey, Regina. "Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: -Phile, -Philic." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 20, 2023).