before vowels phil-, word-forming element meaning "loving, fond of, tending to," from Greek philos (adj.) "dear, loved, beloved," as a noun, "friend," from philein "to love, regard with affection," a word of unknown origin. Productive of a great many compounds in ancient Greek (such as philokybos "a lover of dice-play"). Opposed to miso-. Compare -phile.
1824, "a friend of Greece, a foreigner who supports and assists the cause of the Greeks," from Greek philhellēn, from philos "loving" (see philo-) + Hellēnes "the Greeks" (compare Hellenic). Originally in English in reference to the cause of Greek independence; later also with reference to Greek literature or language. Related: Philhellenic; Philhellenism.
1817, "inclined to the production of offspring, fond of children," irregularly formed from philo- + Latin progenit-, past-participle stem of progignere (see progeny). Philoprogenitiveness "the love of offspring, instinctive love of the young in general" is from 1815. Both first attested in translations of Spurzheim and important words among the phrenologists. Related: Philoprogeneity.
genus of araceous climbing shrubs native to tropical America, 1837, from the Modern Latin genus name (Schott, 1830), from Greek philodendron, neuter of philodendros "loving trees," from philo- "loving" (see philo-) + dendron "tree" (from PIE *der-drew-, from root *deru- "to be firm, solid, steadfast," also forming words for "wood, tree"). The plant so called because it clings to trees.
also philter, "love potion, potion supposed to have the power of exciting sexual love," 1580s, from French philtre (1560s), from Latin philtrum (plural philtra) "love potion," from Greek philtron "a love-charm," properly philētron, literally "to make oneself beloved," from philein "to love" (from philos "loving;" see philo-) + instrumental suffix -tron.