noun (plural phyla /ˈfʌɪlə/)
1 Zoology A principal taxonomic category that ranks above class and below kingdom, equivalent to the division in botany.
- The superphylum Deuterostomia contains the diverse phyla Chordata and Echinodermata and the minor phyla Hemichordata and Urochordata.
- In the animal kingdom there are many phyla, and the mammals come into a phylum called the chordates.
- Arthropods, chordates and annelids are the three segmented phyla in the animal kingdom.
2 Linguistics A group of languages related to each other less closely than those forming a family, especially one in which the relationships are unclear.
- Na-Dene is one of the most widely distributed language phyla in North America.
- Within a phylum, however, it may also be necessary to recognize some languages that have no close relatives and do not fall into families.
Late 19th century: modern Latin from Greek, phulon 'race'.
Words that rhyme with phylumasylum, hilum, whilom
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