Definitions

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

  • noun Biology The occurrence of two or more distinct forms, as of an organism during its life cycle or of cells of a certain type.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Same as polymorphism.
  • noun Same as pleiomorphism.

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

  • noun (Crystallog.) The property of crystallizing under two or more distinct fundamental forms, including dimorphism and trimorphism.
  • noun (Biol.) The theory that the various genera of bacteria are phases or variations of growth of a number of Protean species, each of which may exhibit, according to undetermined conditions, all or some of the forms characteristic of the different genera and species.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun biology the occurrence of multiple structural forms during the life cycle of an organism
  • noun chemistry polymorphism

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

  • noun (chemistry) the existence of different kinds of crystal of the same chemical compound
  • noun (biology) the appearance of two or more distinctly different forms in the life cycle of some organisms

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

pleo- (“full, many”) + -morphism

Examples

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