Definitions

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

  • adj. Abruptly truncated, as though bitten or broken off: a premorse leaf.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Terminated abruptly, or as if bitten off.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Terminated abruptly, or as it bitten off.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Bitten off.
  • In botany and entomology, having the apex irregularly truncate, as if bitten or broken: as, a premorse leaf or root; premorse elytra; etc.

Etymologies

Latin praemorsus, past participle of praemordēre, to bite off in front : prae-, pre- + mordēre, to bite; see mer- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin praemorsus, past participle of praemordere to bite off; prae before + mordere to bite. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • As I looked over the water, I saw the isles rapidly wasting away, the sea nibbling voraciously at the continent, the springing arch of a hill suddenly interrupted, as at Point Alderton, -- what botanists might call premorse, -- showing, by its curve against the sky, how much space it must have occupied, where now was water only.

    Cape Cod

  • It's my own personal phenomenon: buyer's premorse.

    Tea Leaves

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Comments

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  • And related to morsel, I presume. :-) I like c_b's definition best too.

    January 13, 2008

  • its from the same latin word meaning to BITE. IE bite off. or curtail.

    January 12, 2008

  • Freerice.com says this means "broken off," but when I saw it I could have sworn it meant "the state of anticipating being remorseful."

    I like my definition better. (though I did guess it right, at least!)

    January 12, 2008