an·​thoph·​i·​lous | \ an-ˈthä-fə-ləs How to pronounce anthophilous (audio) \

Definition of anthophilous

: feeding upon or living among flowers anthophilous insects

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Parrots love eucalyptus flowers. That's because anthophilous birds are naturally attracted to "ornithophilous" flowers-which is to say, flowers that are pollinated by birds. The "-philous" in both of those terms is the combining form that means "loving" (from Greek -philos). "Anthophilous" uses the Greek word anthos, meaning "flower," while "ornithophilous" traces back to Greek ornis, meaning "bird." "Ornithophilous" is one of a whole swarm of specialized words that identify flowers in terms of the flower-loving creatures that pollinate them. "Entomophilous" flowers, for example, are pollinated by anthophilous insects, such as bees. There's even a word specifically for plants that are pollinated by bees: "melittophilous" (from the Greek word melitta, meaning "bee").

Examples of anthophilous in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Whether an anthophilous or floraphile, lovers of flowers no longer have to pack the car and make a three-hour trek to the Brenham countryside to frolic in the state's most brilliant blossom. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, 17 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'anthophilous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of anthophilous

1845, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for anthophilous

antho- + -philous, after earlier anthophile, borrowed from French

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The first known use of anthophilous was in 1845

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Cite this Entry

“Anthophilous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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