One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A principal taxonomic category that ranks above class and below kingdom, equivalent to the division in botany.
kind, sort, type, order, class, classification, category, variety, genre, brand, styleView synonyms
- ‘Arthropods, chordates and annelids are the three segmented phyla in the animal kingdom.’
- ‘The superphylum Deuterostomia contains the diverse phyla Chordata and Echinodermata and the minor phyla Hemichordata and Urochordata.’
- ‘Of particular interest in this regard are animals in the early diverging non-bilaterian phyla Porifera, Placozoa, Cnidaria, and Ctenophora.’
- ‘In the animal kingdom there are many phyla, and the mammals come into a phylum called the chordates.’
- ‘He developed the system whereby every known living creature is assigned to a kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species.’
A group of languages related to each other less closely than those forming a family, especially one in which the relationships are unclear.
taxonomic group, group, order, class, subclass, genus, speciesView synonyms
- ‘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’.
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