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See more synonyms for morpheme on Thesaurus.com
noun Linguistics.
  1. any of the minimal grammatical units of a language, each constituting a word or meaningful part of a word, that cannot be divided into smaller independent grammatical parts, as the, write, or the -ed of waited.Compare allomorph(def 2), morph(def 1).
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Origin of morpheme

1895–1900; < French morphème; see morph-, -eme
Related formsmor·phe·mic, adjectivemor·phe·mi·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for morphemes

sound, term, concept, name, phrase, expression, designation, locution, idiom, usage, utterance, morpheme, vocable, lexeme, fundamentals, morphemes, elements, syllabary, symbols, ideograph

British Dictionary definitions for morphemes


  1. linguistics a speech element having a meaning or grammatical function that cannot be subdivided into further such elements
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Derived Formsmorphemic, adjectivemorphemically, adverb

Word Origin for morpheme

C20: from French, from Greek morphē form, coined on the model of phoneme; see -eme
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

Word Origin and History for morphemes



"part of a word which contains the affixes," 1896, from German morpheme, coined 1895 by Polish-born linguist Jan Baudouin de Courtenay (1845–1929), from Greek morphe "form, shape" (see Morpheus), on analogy of phonème.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper