[ pol-ee-mawrf ]
/ ˈpɒl iˌmɔrf /


Biology. an organism having more than one adult form, as the different castes in social ants.
Crystallography. any of the crystal forms assumed by a substance that exhibits polymorphism.
Anatomy. granulocyte.

Nearby words

  1. polymerism,
  2. polymerization,
  3. polymerize,
  4. polymerous,
  5. polymethyl methacrylate,
  6. polymorphic function,
  7. polymorphic reticulosis,
  8. polymorphism,
  9. polymorphocellular,
  10. polymorphonuclear

Origin of polymorph

1820–30; < Greek polýmorphos; see poly-, -morph

Related formspol·y·mor·phic, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for polymorph


/ (ˈpɒlɪˌmɔːf) /


a species of animal or plant that exhibits polymorphism
any of the crystalline forms of a chemical compound that exhibits polymorphism
Also called: polymorphonuclear leucocyte any of a group of white blood cells that have lobed nuclei and granular cytoplasm and function as phagocytes; they include neutrophils, basophils, and eosinophils

Word Origin for polymorph

C19: from Greek polumorphos having many forms

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 polymorph



"organism of several forms," 1828, from Greek polymorphos "of many forms" (see polymorphous).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper