[ mawr-foh ]


, plural mor·phos.
  1. any of various large, tropical American butterflies of the genus Morpho, having brilliant blue, iridescent wings with an underside of brown or gray and eyelike spots.


  1. a combining form meaning “form, structure,” used in the formation of compound words:




  1. indicating form or structure


  2. morpheme


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Word History and Origins

Origin of morpho1

First recorded in 1850–55; from New Latin Morphō, genus name, from Greek Morphṓ “the Shapely, the Beautiful” (an epithet of Aphrodite in Sparta), akin to morphḗ “form, shape, figure, beauty”

Origin of morpho2

< Greek, combining form of morphḗ

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Word History and Origins

Origin of morpho1

from Greek morphē form, shape

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Example Sentences

Helicons came, and once a morpho, the latter a great rarity away from the interior of the woods.

It was in the woods at the Caracoles that I first saw the great morpho butterfly at home.

In this upper story was an image of Aphrodite Morpho fettered—a silly thing he thought it to fetter a cedar-wood doll.

The largest specimens of Morpho Cisseis measure seven inches and a half in expanse.

In the broad alleys of the forest, several species of Morpho were common.


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Words That Use morpho-

What does morpho- mean?

Morpho– is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “form, structure.” It is often occasionally used in scientific terms, especially in biology and linguistics.

Morpho– comes from Greek morphḗ, meaning “form.”

What are variants of morpho-?

When combined with words or word elements that begin with a vowel, morpho– becomes morph, as in morphactin. Additional related combining forms include morphic, morphism, and morphous. Want to know more? Read our Words That Use articles on all four combining forms.

Examples of morpho-

A scientific term that uses the form morpho– is morphology, “the branch of biology dealing with the form and structure of organisms.”

We know morpho– means “form,” while the logy portion of the word refers to “science” or “body of knowledge,” from Greek logía. Morphology literally translates to “science of forms.”

What are some words that use the combining form morpho-?

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

Break it down!

The combining form metry means “the process of measuring.” With this in mind, what does morphometry literally mean?

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