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From New Latin polymorphus, from Ancient Greek πολύμορφος (polúmorphos, multiform, manifold), from πολυ- (polu-, many, much) + μορφή (morphḗ, form, shape).


polymorphous (comparative more polymorphous, superlative most polymorphous)

  1. Having, or assuming, a variety of forms, characters, or styles
    • 1907, Alfred Binet, anonymous translator, The Mind and the Brain, Book III Chapter II:
      Idealism is an exceedingly complex system, varying much with varying authors, very polymorphous, and consequently very difficult to discuss.
  2. (biology) Having, or occurring in, several distinct forms
    • 1913, R. Chodat in Popular Science Monthly Volume 82 Janauay 1913, A Grain of Wheat
      In order to establish itself in any locality a plant must hold its own against competitors which, masters of the soil from time immemorial, have been selected to fit the soil and climate. Moreover, emmer is not cultivated anywhere in Palestine. This wild wheat is furthermore a different plant from any known in cultivation, a polymorphous race, no doubt, but a distinct one.
  3. (chemistry) Crystallizing in two or more different forms; polymorphic



(antonym(s) of "in biology"): monomorphic

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