It illustrates the phenomena of polymorphism most beautifully.
Here, then, is a colony in which the division of labour has reached a remarkable degree of polymorphism.
Spencer, Herbert, controversy with Weismann on polymorphism in insects, 125.
By suitable combinations of eosin and cherry most of the cases of polymorphism in butterflies may be simulated.
It is chiefly amongst the microscopic species that polymorphism has been determined.
I believe it will be found that a considerable number of what have been classed as varieties are really cases of polymorphism.
The horse-radish (Cochlearia Armoracia) may also be instanced as a common illustration of polymorphism in the leaves.
The tendency of the female to dimorphism and polymorphism has been of great importance in determining this predominance.
We have adduced in the foregoing pages a few instances which will serve to illustrate the polymorphism of fungi.
We now understand the process by which a polymorphic race maintains its polymorphism.
polymorphism pol·y·mor·phism (pŏl'ē-môr'fĭz'əm)
The occurrence of different forms, stages, or types in individual organisms or in organisms of the same species, independent of sexual variations.
Crystallization of a compound in at least two distinct forms. Also called pleomorphism.
A concept first identified by Christopher Strachey (1967) and developed by Hindley and Milner, allowing types such as list of anything. E.g. in Haskell:
length :: [a] -> Int
is a function which operates on a list of objects of any type, a (a is a type variable). This is known as parametric polymorphism. Polymorphic typing allows strong type checking as well as generic functions. ML in 1976 was the first language with polymorphic typing.
Ad-hoc polymorphism (better described as overloading) is the ability to use the same syntax for objects of different types, e.g. "+" for addition of reals and integers or "-" for unary negation or diadic subtraction. Parametric polymorphism allows the same object code for a function to handle arguments of many types but overloading only reuses syntax and requires different code to handle different types.
See also generic type variable.
In object-oriented programming, the term is used to describe a variable that may refer to objects whose class is not known at compile time and which respond at run time according to the actual class of the object to which they refer.