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-phobe vs -phile

The suffix -phobe means a thing or person who fears or doesn’t like a certain thing. A suffix is a word stem that is attached to the end of a word. The suffix -phobe is found in many words one would find in a dictionary such as germophobe and xenophobe. However, -phobe is also often used to coin words, especially for comic effect. The suffix -phobe comes from the Greek word phobos which means fear, panic, flight.

The suffix -phile means a thing or person who likes, enjoys or has an affinity for a certain thing. The suffix -phile is found in many words one would find in a dictionary such as bibliophile and pedophile. However, -phile is also often used to coin words. The suffix -phile comes from the Greek word philos which means loving, dear.


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Examples

Although the aforementioned dangling ended my experience, the start was much more pleasant — at least as pleasant as the prospect of prancing about high above the ground can be for an acrophobe. (The Charleston City Paper)

Couples of all races, ages and genders are represented, and Handler (very much a marriage-phobe) lets everyone have their say even as she pokes merciless fun — be it at a Las Vegas bachelorette party that she quips her way through with best friend Mary McCormack (an always welcome presence) or, more presciently, during an interview with former Ashley Madison chief executive Noel Biderman, at whom she can’t help but raise several cocked eyebrows. (The Hollywood Reporter)

I am a bit of a social media-phobe in that I am a reluctant member of Facebook and rarely post updates on what I had for lunch and other important aspects of my life. (USA Today)

In the 1980s, Turkle was very much a technophile, having written an influential book, “The Second Self,” on the rise of personal computers. (The Hartford Courant)

The question came from a self-proclaimed “Bush-o-phile,” and the answer offered a fascinating, if free-form, glimpse into Bush family dynamics. (The New York Times)

Pepys was a francophile by accident, rather than design – being married to a Frenchwoman – but with his taste for a good chine of beef, I daresay he’d have dallied here if then was now. (The Guardian)

Though Anderson thinks Carter brought it off, this X-Phile has to disagree. (The Oregonian)

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