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trimorphism

[trahy-mawr-fiz-uh m]
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noun
  1. Zoology. the occurrence of three forms distinct in structure, coloration, etc., among animals of the same species.
  2. Botany. the occurrence of three different forms of flowers, leaves, etc., on the same plant or on distinct plants of the same species.
  3. Crystallography. the property of some substances of crystallizing in three structurally distinct forms.
  4. the property or condition of occurring in three distinct forms.

Origin of trimorphism

1855–60; < Greek trímorph(os) of three forms (see tri-, -morph) + -ism
Related formstri·mor·phic, tri·mor·phous, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for trimorphism

Historical Examples

  • There are, also, cases of dimorphism and trimorphism, both with animals and plants.

    On the Origin of Species

    Charles Darwin


British Dictionary definitions for trimorphism

trimorphism

noun
  1. biology the property exhibited by certain species of having or occurring in three different forms
  2. the property of certain minerals of existing in three crystalline forms
Derived Formstrimorphic or trimorphous, adjective

Word Origin

C19: from Greek trimorphos (from tri- + morphē form) + -ism
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012