Philadelphia Look up Philadelphia at Dictionary.com
city in Pennsylvania, U.S., from Greek, taken by William Penn to mean "brotherly love," from philos "loving" (see -phile) + adelphos "brother" (see Adelphia). Also the name recalls that of the ancient city in Lydia, mentioned in the New Testament, which was so called in honor of Attalos II Philadelphos, 2c B.C.E. king of Pergamon, who founded it. His title is said to have meant "loving the brethren." Philadelphia lawyer "clever, shrewd attorney" attested from 1788 in London, said originally to have been applied to Andrew Hamilton, who obtained the famous acquittal of J.P. Zenger on libel charges in 1735.
[C]ricket and coaching were after all popular in their day in places besides Philadelphia. It was merely that Philadelphia kept on with them longer than most places. This is a perennial Philadelphia trick, and gives to Philadelphia a sort of perpetual feeling of loss. Philadelphians are always just now getting rid of things that are picturesque, like those gas lamps on the streets, only because everybody else got rid of them long ago. [Nathaniel Burt, "The Perennial Philadelphians," 1963]
philander (v.) Look up philander at Dictionary.com
1737, from the noun meaning "a lover" (1700), from Philander, popular name for a lover in stories, drama, and poetry, from Greek adjective philandros "with love for people," perhaps mistaken as meaning "a loving man," from phil- "loving" (see philo-) + andr-, stem of aner "man" (see anthropo-). Related: Philandered; philandering.
philanderer (n.) Look up philanderer at Dictionary.com
1816, agent noun from philander (v.).
philanthrope (n.) Look up philanthrope at Dictionary.com
1734, from Latin philanthropos, from Greek philanthropos "loving mankind" (see philanthropy).
philanthropic (adj.) Look up philanthropic at Dictionary.com
1789, from French philanthropique (18c.), from Greek philanthropikos (adj.), from philanthropia "humanity, benevolence, kindliness" (see philanthropy). Related: Philanthropical; philanthropically (1787).
philanthropist (n.) Look up philanthropist at Dictionary.com
1731, from philanthropy + -ist. Related: Philanthropism.
philanthropy (n.) Look up philanthropy at Dictionary.com
c.1600, from Late Latin philanthropia, from Greek philanthropia "kindliness, humanity, benevolence, love to mankind" (from gods, men, or things), from philanthropos (adj.) "loving mankind, useful to man," from phil- "loving" (see philo-) + anthropos "mankind" (see anthropo-). Originally in English in the Late Latin form; modern spelling attested from 1620s.
philately (n.) Look up philately at Dictionary.com
"stamp-collecting," 1865, from French philatélie, coined by French stamp collector Georges Herpin (in "Le Collectionneur de Timbres-poste," Nov. 15, 1864), from Greek phil- "loving" (see philo-) + ateleia "exemption from tax," the closest word Herpin could find in ancient Greek to the concept of "postage stamp" (from a- "without" + telos "tax;" see toll (n.)). A reminder of the original function of postage stamps, now often forgotten: the cost of letter-carrying formerly was paid by the recipient; stamps indicated it had been pre-paid by the sender, thus the letters were "carriage-free."
It is a pity that for one of the most popular scientific pursuits one of the least popularly intelligible names should have been found. [Fowler]
Stampomania (1865) also was tried. Stamp-collecting is from 1862. Related: Philatelic; philatelism; philatelist.
Philemon Look up Philemon at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, in Greek mythology a pious man, husband of Baucis; from Greek philemon, literally "loving, affectionate," from philein "to love" (see philo-).
philharmonic (adj.) Look up philharmonic at Dictionary.com
1813 (in the name of a society founded in London for the promotion of instrumental music), from French philharmonique (1739), from Italian filarmonico, literally "loving harmony," from Greek philos "loving" (see philo-) + ta harmonika "theory of harmony, music," from neuter plural of harmonikos (see harmonic). The Society name was taken up in the names of many symphony orchestras.
philhellene (adj.) Look up philhellene at Dictionary.com
1824, "loving the Greeks," from Greek, from philos "loving" (see -phile) + Hellen "Greek" (see Hellenic). Originally in English in reference to the cause of Greek independence. Related: Philhellenic.
Philip Look up Philip at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, from Latin Philippus, from Greek Philippos "fond of horses," from philos "beloved, loving" (see philo-) + hippos "horse" (see equine). In 16c., Philip and Cheyney was a way to say "any two common men."
Philippa Look up Philippa at Dictionary.com
fem. proper name, modern, fem. of Philip.
philippic (n.) Look up philippic at Dictionary.com
1590s, "bitter invective discourse," from Middle French philippique, from Latin (orationes) Philippicæ, translation of Greek Philippikoi (logoi), the speeches made in Athens by Demosthenes in 351-341 B.C.E. urging Greeks to unite and fight the rising power of Philip II of Macedon. The Latin phrase was used of the speeches made by Cicero against Marc Antony in 44 and 43 B.C.E.
Philippines Look up Philippines at Dictionary.com
from Spanish Islas Filipinas, literally "the islands of Philip," named for Philip II, king of Spain. Related: Philippine.
Philistine Look up Philistine at Dictionary.com
Old Testament people of coastal Palestine who made war on the Israelites, early 14c., from Old French Philistin, from Late Latin Philistinus, from Late Greek Philistinoi (plural), from Hebrew P'lishtim, "people of P'lesheth" ("Philistia"); compare Akkad. Palastu, Egyptian Palusata; the word probably is the people's name for itself.
philistine (n.) Look up philistine at Dictionary.com
"person deficient in liberal culture," 1827, originally in Carlyle, popularized by him and Matthew Arnold, from German Philister "enemy of God's word," literally "Philistine," inhabitants of a Biblical land, neighbors (and enemies) of Israel (see Philistine). Popularized in German student slang (supposedly first in Jena, late 17c.) as a contemptuous term for "townies," and hence, by extension, "any uncultured person." Philistine had been used in a humorous figurative sense of "the enemy" in English from c.1600.
Phillips Look up Phillips at Dictionary.com
proper name of a cross-slot screw and corresponding screwdriver, 1935, named for its inventor, U.S. businessman Henry F. Phillips (1890-1958) of Portland, Ore. It was designed for car makers, hence the handyman's complaint that they are difficult to un-screw. Phillips lost the patent in 1949.
Philly Look up Philly at Dictionary.com
familiar or colloquial shortening of Philadelphia, attested by 1890, but from 1858 as the popular name of a ferry boat of that name that crossed the Delaware River from the city to Camden, and a city baseball team has been the Phillies since 1883.
philo- Look up philo- at Dictionary.com
before vowels phil-, word-forming element meaning "loving, fond of, tending to," from Greek philo-, comb. form of philos "dear" (adj.), "friend" (n.), from philein "to love," of unknown origin. Productive of a great many compounds in ancient Greek.
philodendron (n.) Look up philodendron at Dictionary.com
1837, from the Modern Latin genus name (1830), from Greek philodendron, neuter of philodendros "loving trees," from philo- "loving" (see philo-) + dendron "tree" (see dendro-). The plant so called because it clings to trees.
philologist (n.) Look up philologist at Dictionary.com
1640s, "literary person;" 1716, "student of language," from philology + -ist.
philology (n.) Look up philology at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "love of learning," from Latin philologia "love of learning, love of letters, love of study, literary culture," from Greek philologia "love of discussion, learning, and literature; studiousness," from philo- "loving" (see philo-) + logos "word, speech" (see logos).

Meaning "science of language" is first attested 1716 (philologue "linguist" is from 1590s; philologer "linguistic scholar" is from 1650s); this confusing secondary sense has not been popular in the U.S., where linguistics is preferred. Related: Philological.
philomel (n.) Look up philomel at Dictionary.com
"nightingale," late 14c., from Greek Philomela, poetic name of the nightingale, in mythology the daughter of Pandion, transformed into a nightingale; probably literally "lover of song," from philos "loving" + melos "a tune, song;" but perhaps "lover of apples" (Greek mela). In the myth, proper name of Pandion's daughter, who was turned into a nightingale (Ovid).
philophobia (n.) Look up philophobia at Dictionary.com
by 1976, from philo- + -phobia.
philoprogenitive (adj.) Look up philoprogenitive at Dictionary.com
"prolific," 1815, irregularly formed from philo- + Latin progenit-, past participle stem of progignere (see progeny). Related: Philoprogenitiveness. Important words among the phrenologists.
philosophe (n.) Look up philosophe at Dictionary.com
"Enlightenment rationalist and skeptic," especially in reference to any of the French Encyclopædists, often disparaging (when used by believers), 1774, from French philosophe, literally "philosopher" (see philosopher). Usually italicized in English, but nativized by Peter Gay ("The Enlightenment," 1966) and others. Also philosophist (1798).
philosopher (n.) Look up philosopher at Dictionary.com
from Old English philosophe, from Latin philosophus "philosopher," from Greek philosophos "philosopher, sage, one who speculates on the nature of things and truth," literally "lover of wisdom," from philos "loving" (see -phile) + sophos "wise, a sage" (see sophist). Modern form with -r appears early 14c., from an Anglo-French or Old French variant of philosophe, with an agent-noun ending.
Pythagoras was the first who called himself philosophos, instead of sophos, 'wise man,' since this latter term was suggestive of immodesty. [Klein]
Philosophy also was used of alchemy in Middle Ages, hence Philosophers' stone (late 14c., translating Medieval Latin lapis philosophorum, early 12c.), a reputed solid substance supposed by alchemists to change baser metals into gold or silver; also identified with the elixir and thus given the attribute of prolonging life indefinitely and curing wounds and disease. (French pierre philosophale, German der Stein der Weisen).
philosophic (adj.) Look up philosophic at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from Middle French philosophique and directly from Late Latin philosophicus, from Greek philosophikos, from philosophia "philosophy" (see philosophy).
philosophical (adj.) Look up philosophical at Dictionary.com
late 14c.; see philosophy + -ical. Related: Philosophically.
philosophize (v.) Look up philosophize at Dictionary.com
1590s, from philosophy + -ize. Related: Philosophized; philosophizing. The earlier verb was simply philosophy (late 14c.).
philosophy (n.) Look up philosophy at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "knowledge, body of knowledge," from Old French filosofie "philosophy, knowledge" (12c., Modern French philosophie) and directly from Latin philosophia and from Greek philosophia "love of knowledge, pursuit of wisdom; systematic investigation," from philo- "loving" (see philo-) + sophia "knowledge, wisdom," from sophis "wise, learned;" of unknown origin.
Nec quicquam aliud est philosophia, si interpretari velis, praeter studium sapientiae; sapientia autem est rerum divinarum et humanarum causarumque quibus eae res continentur scientia. [Cicero, "De Officiis"]



[Philosophical problems] are, of course, not empirical problems; but they are solved through an insight into the workings of our language, and that in such a way that these workings are recognized -- despite an urge to misunderstand them. The problems are solved, not through the contribution of new knowledge, rather through the arrangement of things long familiar. Philosophy is a struggle against the bewitchment (Verhexung) of our understanding by the resources of our language. [Ludwig Wittgenstein, "Philosophical Investigations," 1953]
Meaning "system a person forms for conduct of life" is attested from 1771.
philtre (n.) Look up philtre at Dictionary.com
also philter, "love potion," 1580s, from Middle French philtre (1560s), from Latin philtrum (plural philtra) "love potion," from Greek philtron "a love-charm," literally "to make oneself beloved," from philein "to love" (from philos "loving;" see philo-) + instrumental suffix -tron.
philtrum (n.) Look up philtrum at Dictionary.com
dimple in the middle of the upper lip, 1703, medical Latin, from Greek philtron, literally "love charm" (see philtre).
phimosis (n.) Look up phimosis at Dictionary.com
1670s, from Greek phimosis, literally "muzzling," from phimos "a muzzle."
phishing (n.) Look up phishing at Dictionary.com
in the cyber scam sense, by 2000 (some sources cite usage from 1995); alteration of fishing (n.); perhaps by influence of phreak and the U.S. rock band Phish, which had been performing since 1983.
phiz (n.) Look up phiz at Dictionary.com
1680s, jocular abbreviation of physiognomy; hence "face, countenance, facial expression."
phlebitis (n.) Look up phlebitis at Dictionary.com
1820, medical Latin, from phlebo- "vein" + -itis "inflammation."
phlebo- Look up phlebo- at Dictionary.com
word-forming element in medicine meaning "vein," from Greek phlebo-, comb. form of phleps "vein," of uncertain origin.
phlebotomist (n.) Look up phlebotomist at Dictionary.com
1650s, from phlebotomy + -ist. Related: Phlebotomize.
phlebotomy (n.) Look up phlebotomy at Dictionary.com
"bloodletting," c.1400, flebotomye, from Old French flebotomie (13c., Modern French phlébotomie), from medical Latin phlebotomia, from Greek phlebotomia "blood-letting," from phlebotomos "opening veins," from phleps (genitive phlebos) "vein" + -tomia "cutting of," from tome "a cutting" (see tome).
phlegm (n.) Look up phlegm at Dictionary.com
late 14c., fleem "viscid mucus" (the stuff itself and also regarded as a bodily humor), from Old French fleume (13c., Modern French flegme), from Late Latin phlegma, one of the four humors of the body, from Greek phlegma "humor caused by heat," lit "inflammation, heat," from phlegein "to burn," related to phlox (genitive phlogos) "flame, blaze," from PIE *bhleg- "to shine, flash," from root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn" (see bleach (v.)). Modern form is attested from c.1660. The "cold, moist" humor of the body, in medieval physiology, it was believed to cause apathy.
phlegmatic (adj.) Look up phlegmatic at Dictionary.com
"cool, calm, self-possessed," and in a more pejorative sense, "cold, dull, apathetic," 1570s, from literal sense "abounding in phlegm (as a bodily humor)" (mid-14c., fleumatik), from Old French fleumatique (13c., Modern French flegmatique), from Late Latin phlegmaticus, from Greek phlegmatikos "abounding in phlegm" (see phlegm).
A verry flewmatike man is in the body lustles, heuy and slow. [John of Trevisa, translation of Bartholomew de Glanville's "De proprietatibus rerum," 1398]
phlegmy (adj.) Look up phlegmy at Dictionary.com
1540s, from phlegm + -y (2).
phloem (n.) Look up phloem at Dictionary.com
1870, from German phloëm (1858), coined by German botanist Karl Wilhelm von Nägeli (1817-1891) from Greek phloos, phloios "bark of trees," of uncertain origin, + passive suffix -ema.
phlogiston (n.) Look up phlogiston at Dictionary.com
1730, hypothetical inflammatory principle, formerly believed to exist in all combustible matter, from Modern Latin (1702), from Greek phlogiston (1610s in this sense), neuter of phlogistos "burnt up, inflammable," from phlogizein "to set on fire, burn," from phlox (genitive phlogos) "flame, blaze" (see bleach (v.)). Theory propounded by Stahl (1702), denied by Lavoisier (1775), defended by Priestley but generally abandoned by 1800. Related: Phlogistic; phlogisticated.
phlox (n.) Look up phlox at Dictionary.com
1706, from Latin, where it was the name of a flower (Pliny), from Greek phlox "kind of plant with showy flowers" (probably Silene vulgaris), literally "flame," related to phlegein "to burn" (see bleach (v.)). Applied to the North American flowering plant by German botanist Johann Jakob Dillenius (1684-1747).
Phnom Penh Look up Phnom Penh at Dictionary.com
Cambodian capital, literally "mountain of plenty," from Cambodian phnom "mountain, hill" + penh "full."
phobia (n.) Look up phobia at Dictionary.com
"irrational fear, horror, aversion," 1786, perhaps on model of similar use in French, abstracted from compounds in -phobia, from Greek -phobia, from phobos "fear, panic fear, terror, outward show of fear; object of fear or terror," originally "flight" (still the only sense in Homer), but it became the common word for "fear" via the notion of "panic, fright" (compare phobein "put to flight, frighten"), from PIE root *bhegw- "to run" (cognates: Lithuanian begu "to flee;" Old Church Slavonic begu "flight," bezati "to flee, run;" Old Norse bekkr "a stream"). Psychological sense attested by 1895.
phobic (adj.) Look up phobic at Dictionary.com
1888, from phobia + -ic. As a noun from 1968. The Greek adjective was phobetikos "liable to fear."