All You Need is Love: Amor and Phil

Do you want to know what love is? Cozy up to these 14 words derived from the Latin root amor and Greek root phil.

Start learning with an activity...

  • Practice

    Answer a few questions on each word. Get one wrong? We'll ask some follow-up questions. Use it to prep for your next quiz!
  • Spelling Bee

    Test your spelling acumen. See the definition, listen to the word, then try to spell it correctly. Beat your last streak, or best your overall time. Spellers of the world, untie!
  • Vocabulary Jam

    Compete head-to-head in real-time to see which team can answer the most questions correctly. Start a Jam and invite your friends and classmates to join!

Explore the Words

definitions & notes only words
  1. amorous
    expressive of or exciting love or romance
    Not sure whether you should approach the target of your amorous intentions?Washington Post (Dec 23, 2015)
    amor (love) + ous (suffix forming adjectives)
    The article from which the example sentence was taken focuses on an app that can help the user read facial expressions. But you can use these clues to figure out whether someone shares your amorous intentions: an eye-crinkling smile directed at you, movements of the body or head towards you, blushing, unconscious self-grooming, and gestures or speech patterns that mirror your own.
  2. paramour
    a lover, especially a secret or illicit one
    If it’s possible to have a love affair with a mountain, Aspen Highlands is my snowy paramour.New York Times (Dec 10, 2015)
    per (prefix meaning "through, entirely") + amor (love)
    The French phrase "par amour" used to describe a strong love for Christ or the Virgin Mary. Later, it expanded to refer to any darling or sweetheart. Now carrying a less moral tone, a paramour can be the secret lover of either a woman or a man.
  3. enamored
    marked by foolish or unreasoning fondness
    It was the first time I’d seen anything like it in a video game and I was enamored.Los Angeles Times (Sep 11, 2015)
    en (prefix meaning "into") + amor (love) + ed (past participle suffix)
    As a verb, "enamor" has a somewhat magical tone. But who would dare claim to have the power to inspire love? The word is more commonly used as a participial adjective to describe how someone has fallen, perhaps foolishly or unreasonably, in love with something or someone.
  4. amateur
    someone who pursues a study or sport as a pastime
    "It is important to remember that amateurs built the Ark and it was the professionals that built the Titanic," Carson tweeted in October.Washington Post (Dec 31, 2015)
    amor (love) + or (suffix forming nouns)
    The different spelling indicates that the word has been Frenchified. While the adjectives "amateur" and "amateurish" have a negative tone that suggests that something was poorly done, amateurs can earn more respect than professionals because their pursuit of an activity is connected to love rather than money.
  5. amity
    a state of friendship and cordiality
    Soon the kings or chiefs of other neighboring tribes came in bringing fruit, and everything was harmonious, and treaties of amity were made with all.Headley, Joel Tyler
    amicus (friend) + ity (suffix forming abstract nouns)
    "Amicus" is related to both "amor" and "amare." This connection can be seen in the Proto-Germanic "frijand" which refers to both a friend and lover. Similarly, the Old Norse "frja" and Gothic "frijon" mean "to love." These words are also connected to the idea of being free, which historically focused on the participants' non-slave status, but could also emphasize that love must come from one's free will.
  6. amicable
    characterized by friendship and good will
    It was mostly amicable, with the intent to remain friends, since we share custody of two sons and continue to work in the same company.Washington Post
    amicus (friend) + able (suffix forming adjectives)
    Rather than describing the nature of a specific person, the adjective is mostly used to describe the mood between people as they try to reach an agreement. This is often made easier when both parties are amiable and amenable ("willing to comply or cooperate") to the others' wishes.
  7. amiable
    diffusing warmth and friendliness
    He's an amiable Everyman, viewed with affection even by those who consider him naïve.Los Angeles Times (Nov 5, 2015)
    amicus (friend) + able (suffix forming adjectives)
    The word started as a confusion of the Old French "amable" which comes directly from the Latin verb "amare" and means "lovable." It was later changed to "amicable" to connect to "amicus" but "amiable" remains in use as a warmer and happier adjective to describe someone's personality.
  8. philanthropist
    someone who makes charitable donations
    Around the turn of the 20th century, however, philanthropists and charities expressed interest in fulfilling Santa’s role for poor children who sent him letters.Time (Dec 21, 2015)
    philos (loving, beloved) + anthropos (mankind) + ist (suffix meaning "one who does or makes")
    The first letters connected to Santa were not addressed to him. Rather, they were from him (from parents who needed an indirect way to tell their children what they thought about their behavior). The Post Office considered these letters undeliverable and either returned to senders or sent them to the Dead Letter Office. When philanthropists stepped in, Santa eventually got his own zip code: 30351-1989.
  9. philosophy
    the rational investigation of existence and knowledge
    For Aristotle, wonder is a primordial prompt to start thinking, a spur to philosophy, leading us to contemplate the greatest cosmological questions.Washington Post (Nov 12, 2015)
    philos (loving, beloved) + sophia (knowledge, wisdom) + y (suffix forming nouns)
    Aristotle's sense of wonder about the world led to philosophical treatises on a wide range of topics, including logic, ethics, political theory, rhetoric, mathematics, biology, botany, and astronomy. On a smaller scale, philosophy can be "any personal belief about how to live."
  10. philosophical
    meeting trouble with level-headed detachment
    He's philosophical about the downturn, but worries about the next generation.BBC (Aug 31, 2015)
    philos (loving, beloved) + sophia (knowledge, wisdom) + y (suffix forming nouns) + ical (suffix forming adjectives)
    Because philosophers think about everything as part of the larger picture of existence, they are often less concerned with the troubles of day-to-day living. According to Epictetus, a person following a stoical philosophy would be "sick and yet happy, in peril and yet happy, dying and yet happy, in exile and happy, in disgrace and happy."
  11. philology
    the humanistic study of language and literature
    At the University of Granada, where he received a scholarship to study philology, he fell in love with García Lorca’s work and began writing poetry.New York Times (Apr 16, 2014)
    philos (loving, beloved) + logos (word, speech) + y (suffix forming nouns)
    Flipping the first two Greek roots creates the English word "logophile." But a logophile loves only words and might be content with a career as a linguist. A philologist applies linguistic knowledge to the study of written sources (usually from classical languages such as Greek, Latin, or Sanskrit) in order to learn more about literary and historical traditions.
  12. philatelist
    a collector and student of postage stamps
    But, as every philatelist knows, more stamps will always be welcome.Economist (Jan 9, 2014)
    philos (loving, beloved) + ateleia (exemption from tax) + ist (suffix meaning "one who does or makes")
    As the Greek root suggests, a stamp indicates that the postage fee was paid by the sender, so the recipient would not be taxed for the cost of delivery. This might have contributed to the popularity of philately. At one time, a philatelist was thought to have stampomania, but that term did not stick.
  13. bibliophile
    someone who loves and usually collects books
    The campaign, which launches today, encourages bibliophiles to get together and make time to read.Los Angeles Times (Nov 11, 2014)
    biblion (book) + philos (loving, beloved)
    While bibliolaters ("latreia" means "worship") might focus on the words in one book (usually the Bible), many bibliophiles love the stories and information within a variety of books, as well as the histories behind the books, and the bindings, materials, inks, and layouts of the physical books.
  14. oenophile
    someone who appreciates wine
    Oenophiles and food lovers can parlay their passion into careers as sommeliers and chefs.Forbes (Feb 18, 2015)
    oinos (wine) + philos (loving, beloved)
    An oenophile can also be a vintner (someone who makes wine) or vinologist (someone who studies wine and winemaking). As a sommelier, an oenophile would be in charge of recommending and serving wines that could enhance the dining experiences of foodophiles, chocophiles, and turophiles (the Greek "tyros" means "cheese").
Created on January 25, 2016 (updated June 21, 2017)

Sign up now (it’s free!)

Whether you’re a teacher or a learner, can put you or your class on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.