a combining form with the meanings “much, many” and, in chemistry, “polymeric,” used in the formation of compound words: polyandrous; polyculture; polyethylene.
What Does “Wag the Dog” Mean?If you aren't immersed in politics on the daily, through social media, the news, or just casual conversation, you might not be aware that the phrase wag the dog has become pretty poignant political jargon. But, how did it end up in the political lexicon and where did this seemingly innocent-sounding idiom come from?
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Origin of poly-
< Greek, combining form representing polýs; akin to Old English fela many. See plus
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for poly-
more than one; many or muchpolyhedron
having an excessive or abnormal number or amountpolycythaemia
Word Origin for poly-
from Greek polus much, many; related to Old English fela many
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
Medicine definitions for poly-
More than one; many; much:polyatomic.
More than usual; excessive; abnormal:polydipsia.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Science definitions for poly-
A prefix meaning many, as in polygon, a figure having many sides. In chemistry, it is used to form the names of polymers by being attached to the name of the base unit of which the polymer is made, as in polysaccharide, a polymer made of repeating simple sugars (monosaccharides).
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.