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a combining form meaning “eating,” “feeding on,” “devouring” that specified by the initial element:
creophagous; hylophagous; rhizophagous.
< Greek -phagos, adj. derivative of phágein to eat; see -ous Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Word Origin and History for phagous
comb. form meaning "eating, feeding on," from Gk. -phagos "eater of," from phagein "to eat," lit. "to have a share of food," from PIE base *bhag- "to share out, apportion, distribute," also "to get a share" (cf. Skt. bhajati "assigns, allots, apportions, enjoys, loves," bhagah "allotter, distributor, master, lord," bhaksati "eats, drinks, enjoys;" Pers. bakhshidan "to give;" O.C.S. bogatu "rich").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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