from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A large citizens' organization based on kinship, constituting the largest political subdivision of an ancient Greek city-state.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A local division of the people in ancient Athens; a clan; a tribe.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A local division of the people in ancient Athens; a clan; a tribe.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In ancient Greece, a tribe or clan; one of the subdivisions normally based on ties of blood, of which the aggregate constituted a community.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a tribe of ancient Athenians


Greek phūlē, tribe, phyle.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
New Latin, from Ancient Greek, a body of men united by ties of blood or habitation. (Wiktionary)


  • Most of the Lunarians wore ordinary garments, although their styles of it-upward-flared collars, short cloaks, dagged skirts, pectoral sunbursts, insignia of phyle or family, colors, iridescences, inset glitterlights, details more fanciful still-would have been florid were it not as natural on them as brilliance on a coral snake.

    The Stars Are Also Fire

  • Niolente presumably meant to reveal her design at the right moment, under the right circumstances, which would give Luna the advantage she was working for, with her and her phyle in firm control of it.

    The Stars Are Also Fire

  • Jealousy, that Lilisaire wanted Kenmuir and not him, though Kenmuir was an alien employee and Valanndray kin to her, a member of her phyle?

    The Stars Are Also Fire

  • In their Heroic Age the Greeks were fighting in phyle and phratry, the Germanic peoples in tribes and kinship-groups, and the ancient Scots in their clans, each of which could be identified by special insignia during the greater collective military expeditions.

    Conflict and The Web of Group-Affiliations

  • When you chose to condemn the ten generals, my phyle supplied the Prytanes, and I alone stood out against you.

    The World's Greatest Books — Volume 14 — Philosophy and Economics

  • Phone ring tones towhead is a improvised phyle, but if you try your walbiri and cattle your pudginess puckishly bokmal they may oppositeness the somewhat aegospotami in the end.

    Rational Review

  • The primary protagonist in the story is Nell a thete (or person without a tribe; equivalent to today’s lowest working class) who illicitly receives a copy of an interactive book (with the quaint title Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer; a teaching tool in which is told the tale of Princess Nell and her various friends kin associates c.) originally intended for an aristocrat’s child in the Neo-Victorian phyle. » Real SF -The Diamond Age – Neal Stephensen NEW – A young ladys illustrated primer

  • "At first, I'd guess, the idea was mainly to keep the asteroid - Proserpina-in the possession of their house, their phyle, for whatever gain was to be had.

    The Stars Are Also Fire


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  • Ha, @[fbharjo, well played. The only downside is that no one will get it if you say it aloud.

    February 25, 2012

  • 'single phyle' is a strange oxymoron!

    February 25, 2012