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

  • n. Biology The occurrence of different forms, stages, or types in individual organisms or in organisms of the same species, independent of sexual variations.
  • n. Chemistry Crystallization of a compound in at least two distinct forms. Also called pleomorphism.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The ability to assume different forms or shapes.
  • n. The coexistence, in the same locality, of two or more distinct forms independent of sex, not connected by intermediate gradations, but produced from common parents.
  • n. The feature of object-oriented programming pertaining to the dynamic treatment of data elements based on their type, allowing for an instance of a method to have several definitions.
  • n. The property of certain typed formal systems of allowing for the use of type variables and binders/quantifiers over those type variables; likewise, the property of certain expressions (within such typed formal systems) of making use of at least one such typed variable.
  • n. The ability of a solid material to exist in more than one form or crystal structure; pleomorphism.
  • n. The regular existence of two or more different genotypes within a given species or population; also, variability of amino acid sequences within a gene's protein.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Same as pleomorphism.
  • n.
  • n. The capability of assuming different forms; the capability of widely varying in form.
  • n. Existence in many forms; the coexistence, in the same locality, of two or more distinct forms independent of sex, not connected by intermediate gradations, but produced from common parents.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The property of being polymorphous, or capable of existing in different forms; specifically, in crystallography, the property of crystallizing in two or more fundamental forms: thus, carbon crystallizes in isometric forms in the diamond, and in hexagonal forms in graphite.
  • n. In zoology, difference of form, structure, or type; existence in, or exhibition by, a group of animals, as a species, genus, family, or order, of different types of structure; heterogeneousness.
  • n. In botany, the comprisal of numerous definite or indefinite subtypes under a given type.

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

  • n. (chemistry) the existence of different kinds of crystal of the same chemical compound
  • n. (genetics) the genetic variation within a population that natural selection can operate on
  • n. (biology) the existence of two or more forms of individuals within the same animal species (independent of sex differences)


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From poly- + -morphism.


  • What we were looking for was what we call a polymorphism—an unusual or abnormal form of a gene—that might prove to be associated with alcoholism.

    Alcohol and The Addictive Brain

  • In spite of the discovery that angiotensinogen (AGT) gene polymorphism is associated with essential hypertension, the genetics of this disease has remained poorly understood [58].

    The 2007 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine - Advanced Information

  • This is called polymorphism where a sub-type can be substituted in any situation where a parent type is expected i.e. the object can be treated as an instance of the parent class.

    A Byte of Python

  • A new word such as polyformism may have to be coined, or an older word polymorphism may have to be invoked, to be set beside polytheism, to provide the corrective.

    The Full Feed from

  • By contrast, we found that PINK1 containing the G411S polymorphism, which is conserved in vertebrates, but not invertebrates, could compensate for loss of endogenous PINK1, consistent with the view that PINK1 G411S may be a natural variant and not a disease-causing mutation.

    PLoS Biology: New Articles

  • It uses a technique called polymorphism, a mechanism that can use compression and encryption to make the code appear different to antivirus software and more difficult to detect.

    Infoworld News

  • Sure OOP introduced constructs such as polymorphism and interfaces etc to wiggle this, but imperfectly.

    Tooling Around

  • Google also found that legitimate antivirus vendors were having more trouble identifying the fake programs due to an increased level of "polymorphism," a technique used to make an application look unique and evade malware scanners.

    ARN News

  • - meaning "information hiding" in the general sense, and not necessarily a particular programming mechanism such as polymorphism or some such thing.

  • These loci that they test must be 1) independent from eachother and 2) have a fair amount of polymorphism, meaning that they must be different in different people.

    False Rape Convictions Without False Accusations


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