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a combining form occurring in nouns that correspond to adjectives ending in -morphic or -morphous: monomorphism.
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Origin of -morphism

see origin at -morphous, -ism
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does -morphism mean?

The combining formmorphism is used like a suffix meaning “the state of being a shape, form, or structure.” It is occasionally used in scientific terms, especially in biology.

The form –morphism comes from a combination of two forms. The first is morphous, from Greek –morphos, meaning “having the form [of],” ultimately from Greek morphḗ, meaning “form.” The second is the suffix ism, from Greek –ismos, denoting nouns of state or condition.

What are variants of –morphism?

While –morphism doesn’t have any variants, it is related to a number of other forms. It is particularly used to form nouns related to the forms morphic and morphous, such as monomorphous. These forms are also related to the forms morph, morph, and morpho. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use articles for each of these forms.

Examples of -morphism

One example of a word that features the form –morphism is polymorphism, “the state or condition of being polymorphous.” Polymorphous means “having, assuming, or passing through many or various forms, stages, or the like.”

The form poly means “much” or “many,” from Greek polýs. The form –morphism means “the state of being a shape, form, or structure.” Polymorphism literally translates to “the state of being many shapes or forms.”

What are some words that use the combining form –morphism?

What are some other forms that –morphism may be commonly confused with?

Break it down!

The combining form tri means “three.” With that in mind, what does trimorphism literally mean?