The combining form –phyte comes from the Greek phytón, meaning “plant.” The Greek phytón also helps form the word neóphytos, source of the word neophyte, a “beginner” or “novice.” Neophyte literally means “newly planted” and originally referred to a newly baptized Christian.
The corresponding form of -phyte combined to the beginning of words is phyto-.
Want to know more? Read our Words That Use phyto- article.
Examples of -phyte
One example of a scientific term that features the combining form -phyte is macrophyte. A macrophyte is “a plant, especially a marine plant, large enough to be visible to the naked eye.”
You might be familiar with the combining form macro-, which means “large,” among other senses. As we have seen, -phyte means “plant.” Macrophyte, then, literally translates to “large plant.”
What are some words that use the combining form -phyte?