polymorphic

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

poly- +‎ -morphic

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

polymorphic (not comparable)

  1. Relating to polymorphism (any sense), able to have several shapes or forms.
    • 1859 November 24, Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, [], London: John Murray, [], OCLC 1029641431:
      I refer to those genera which have sometimes been called "protean" or "polymorphic," in which the species present an inordinate amount of variation; and hardly two naturalists can agree which forms to rank as species and which as varieties.
    • 1897, Grant Allen, An African Millionaire
      Dr. Beddersley came -- a dapper little man, with pent-house eyebrows, and keen, small eyes, whom I suspected at sight of being Colonel Clay himself in another of his clever polymorphic embodiments.
  2. (programming, of a function) Having or relating to the ability to take multiple data types for a single parameter.
    • 1996, Rod Ellis, Data abstraction and program design:
      Polymorphic redefinition in C++ is achieved by the use of virtual functions.
  3. (biochemistry) This term needs a definition. Please help out and add a definition, then remove the text {{rfdef}}.

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