Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A meaningful linguistic unit consisting of a word, such as man, or a word element, such as -ed in walked, that cannot be divided into smaller meaningful parts.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The smallest linguistic unit within a word that can carry a meaning, such as "un-", "break", and "-able" in the word "unbreakable".

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The smallest unit of meaning of a language, which cannot be divided into smaller parts carrying meaning; it is usually smaller than a single wordform, such as the -ed morpheme of verbs in the past tense or the -s morpheme of nouns in the plural form.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. minimal meaningful language unit; it cannot be divided into smaller meaningful units

Etymologies

French morphème, blend of Greek morphē, form and French phonème, phoneme; see phoneme.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French morphème. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I think that the possessive morpheme is technically a clitic.

    Preposterous Apostrophes III: The kings of England’s « Motivated Grammar

  • A morpheme is the smallest unit of meaning in the language.

    Homeschool Reading Programs Help Homeschooling Parents Teach Effectively « Articles « Literacy News

  • Logograms are like Chinese characters: each represents a word or morpheme a morpheme is the smallest part of the word that has a meaning of its own.

    I just had to do this test

  • A Basic Model of Grammar Most theories of grammar accept that grammatical units are ordered hierarchically according to their size (a rank scale) o sentence (or clause complex) clause …. phrase (or group) … word … morpheme The morpheme is the smallest unit in grammar simply because it has no structure of its own.

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  • A unit which is different PHONOLOGICALLY and SEMANTICALLY is not considered to be a morpheme as a morpheme is a distinct meaningful unit in its own.

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  • It makes direct use of the notion of morpheme in the definition of agglutinative and fusional languages.

    Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium - Recent changes [en]

  • A morpheme is the smallest unit of meaning in a language; a bound morpheme is one that appears only in combination with another morpheme, such as the suffixes and prefixes of English.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol XVI No 1

  • I'm using in its linguistics context where a "morpheme" is a unit of meaning, so: "poly" - many, "morphic" †"meanings.

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  • He wept as he mouthed so many polysyllabic diamonds, each morpheme packed with mean men, dirty children and rust.

    The Language

  • You probably feel at times like a chord of a conic section that passes through a focus and is parallel to the directrix, but know for certain that the phonemic differences between allormorphs of the same morpheme is supported by the idea that the quantitative measurement of many characters to the determination of taxa and to the construction of diagrams indicating systematic changes can make or break us.

    Trisomy

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