1. a combining form with the meaning “having the shape, form, or structure” of the kind or number specified by the initial element, used in the formation of compound words:


Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of -morphous1

Representing Greek -morphos, adj. derivative of morphḗ form; -ous


Discover More

Words That Use -morphous

What does -morphous mean?

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

The form –morphous comes from Greek –morphos, meaning “possessing a form,” ultimately from Greek morphḗ, meaning “form.”

What are variants of –morphous?

In some terms, the form –morphous becomes morphic, as in xenomorphic. Additional related combining forms include morph, morpho, and morphism. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use articles on all four combining forms.

Examples of -morphous

One example of a scientific term that features the form –morphous is rhizomorphous, “rootlike in form.”

The combining form rhizo means “root,” from Greek rhíza. The form –morphous means “having the form [of],” as we have seen. Rhizomorphous literally translates to “having the shape of a root.”

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

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

Break it down!

The combining form mono means “single” or “one.” Keeping this in mind, what does monomorphous mean?