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You are watching: What does the suffix phile mean

Lots the words ending with -phile have actually a sexual context, yet phileo is a friendship love which has nothing to execute with sex-related context. Why is that? Is there an innocent, pure, familiar suffix that can be supplied with the an interpretation "lover" and not "luster"?



ab2 I need to confess that ns am the close-voter. How many words finishing with -phile have actually sexual connotation? i don't think "bibliophile", musicophile, etc. Have it. I think the inquiry needs an ext examples with much more clear context.
Michael Quinion, Ologies and also Isms: native Beginnings and also Endings (2002) says that words acquisition the suffix -phile deserve to be sorted into a variety of subgroups within the philos-related family:

-phile also -phil, -philia, -phily, -philic, and also -philous. Lover of or enthusiast for, having an affinity through a provided thing. Greek philos, loving.

Several vast groups are attached within this ending. One set denotes one admirer of the customs, people, or institutions of a country: Anglophile, Francophile, Slavophile, Japanophile. Another marks an enthusiast because that the social products of a medium (audiophile, cinephile, videophile), or because that some topic area (bibliophile, a lover that books; oenophile, a connoisseur the wines; technophile, a person who is enthusiasm about new technology). It also appears in names for abnormal psychological states: a paedophile (US pedophile) (Greek pais, paid-, child, boy) is a human who is sexually attractive to children; a zoophile (Greek zoion, animal) can be a human being with a morbid attraction to animals (though that is also used because that a micro-organism that attacks animals).

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So, follow to Quinion, constructions such together necrophile are simply a subset the the larger team of possible meanings the -phile—a specific subset that refers to attractions based upon abnormal emotional states. The visibility of together words needn"t be seen as casting any kind of sexual shadow end words such as Russophile, acidophile, and also electrophile.