- The definition of a phylum is a major category of living organisms, or a group of genetically related language families.
- An example of a phylum is Mollusca which means an invertebrate animal such as an octopus.
- An example of a phylum is the group of Indo-European languages spoken in Europe, Asia, North America, South America and Oceania.
- a major category in the classification of living organisms, esp. animals, ranking above a class and below a kingdom: it can include one class or many similar classes: the Latinized phylum names are capitalized but not italicized (Ex.: Arthropoda, arthropods)
- a language stock
- loosely a language family
Origin of phylumModern Latin coined by Baron Georges (Léopold Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert) Cuvier ; from Classical Greek phylon, tribe: see phylo-
- Biology A taxonomic category of organisms ranking below a kingdom and above a class. In the classification of plants, division often replaces phylum.
- Linguistics A large division of possibly genetically related families of languages or linguistic stocks.
Origin of phylumNew Latin ph&ymacron;lum, from Greek phūlon, class; see bheu&schwa;- in Indo-European roots.
(plural phyla or phylums)
- (biology, taxonomy) A rank in the classification of organisms, below kingdom and above class; also called a division, especially in describing plants; a taxon at that rank
- Mammals belong to the phylum Chordata.
- (linguistics) A large division of possibly related languages, or a major language family which is not subordinate to another.
From Latin phylum, from Ancient Greek φῦλον (phulon, “tribe, race”).