word-forming element in modern science meaning "seaweed, algae," from Latinized form of Greek phykos "seaweed, sea wrack," also "rouge, red make-up made from seaweed;" Beekes writes that it is a loan-word from Semitic and compares Hebrew pūk "eye-rouge." "The meaning 'make-up' is therefore primary for [phykos], too; hence 'seaweed'." Compare fucus, which is probably a Latin borrowing of the Greek word.
updated on May 30, 2020
Dictionary entries near phyco-