a combining form with the meanings “much, many” and, in chemistry, “polymeric,” used in the formation of compound words: polyandrous; polyculture; polyethylene.
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Origin of poly-
< Greek, combining form representing polýs; akin to Old English fela many. See plus
Words nearby poly-
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
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
Medical 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.
Scientific 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.