The collection of organisms, such as algae and bacteria, that live on the surface of submerged plants and other underwater objects.
[New Latin, from Greek periphuton, from neuter sing. of periphutos, planted all over, from periphuein, to grow around, cling to : peri-, peri- + phuein, to grow; see bheuə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.