Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A meaningful linguistic unit that cannot be divided into smaller meaningful parts. The word man and the suffix -ed (as in walked) are morphemes.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Linguistics) 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 Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[French morphème, blend of Greek morphē, form and French phonème, phoneme; see phoneme.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French morphème.

Examples

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • Not to be confused with morphine.

    June 25, 2007

  • JM reckons morphemes rock!

    March 24, 2011