Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Having or exhibiting many forms; characterized by polymorphism; not isomorphous or monomorphous.
  • Specifically, in zoology: Undergoing a series of marked changes during development, as most insects.
  • Varying much in appearance, form, or structure in the same species or group.
  • In botany, same as 2 .
  • In music, noting a contrapuntal composition, as a canon or a fugue, in which the themes are or may be treated in various ways, as by augmentation, diminution, inversion, etc. Also polymorphic.

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

  • adjective Having, or assuming, a variety of forms, characters, or styles.
  • adjective (Biol.) Having, or occurring in, several distinct forms; -- opposed to monomorphic.

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

  • adjective Having, or assuming, a variety of forms, characters, or styles; as, a polymorphous author.
  • adjective biology Having, or occurring in, several distinct forms; -- opposed to monomorphic.
  • adjective chemistry Crystallizing in two or more different forms; polymorphic

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

  • adjective relating to the crystallization of a compound in two or more different forms
  • adjective having or occurring in several distinct forms
  • adjective relating to the occurrence of more than one kind of individual (independent of sexual differences) in an interbreeding population

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From New Latin polymorphus, from Ancient Greek πολύμορφος ("multiform, manifold"), from πολύς (polus, "many, much") + μορφή ("form, shape").

Examples

  • In Eros and Civilization and One Dimensional Man he promised that the overcoming of capitalism and its false consciousness will result in a society where the greatest satisfactions are sexual, of a sort that the bourgeois moralist Freud called polymorphous and infantile.

    THE CLOSING OF THE AMERICAN MIND

  • In Eros and Civilization and One Dimensional Man he promised that the overcoming of capitalism and its false consciousness will result in a society where the greatest satisfactions are sexual, of a sort that the bourgeois moralist Freud called polymorphous and infantile.

    THE CLOSING OF THE AMERICAN MIND

  • In A Home at the End of the World 1990 he followed three very different misfits from childhood to maturity, from Cleveland to New York City and then to the broken-down upstate farmhouse where they define themselves, perilously and poignantly, as a kind of polymorphous family.

    Alan Hollinghurst On Michael Cunningham: The New York Review Of Books

  • In A Home at the End of the World 1990 he followed three very different misfits from childhood to maturity, from Cleveland to New York City and then to the broken-down upstate farmhouse where they define themselves, perilously and poignantly, as a kind of polymorphous family.

    Alan Hollinghurst On Michael Cunningham: The New York Review Of Books

  • In A Home at the End of the World 1990 he followed three very different misfits from childhood to maturity, from Cleveland to New York City and then to the broken-down upstate farmhouse where they define themselves, perilously and poignantly, as a kind of polymorphous family.

    Alan Hollinghurst On Michael Cunningham

  • At least half of those genes are polymorphous, meaning that "they have a great potential of variation among themselves," Mr MacLeod says.

    Archive 2005-09-01

  • At least half of those genes are polymorphous, meaning that "they have a great potential of variation among themselves," Mr MacLeod says.

    Just a matter of Individual Taste

  • "polymorphous" [40] being in which all celestial powers manifested themselves in turn; a _pantheos_ who wore the crown of rays and the lunar crescent at the same time, and whose various emblems expressed an infinite multiplicity of functions.

    The Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism

  • The score is comparably ambitious and polymorphous, folding in a panoply of styles, from Bach to boogie-woogie, and finally fading away until, during the recitation of Curie's words, the instruments fall silent.

    Review: Great Noise Ensemble at the National Gallery of Art

  • The movie is more about the unapologetic display of polymorphous sexuality than whatever the plot amounts to, but any reel dropped into the middle of the latest Jennifer Aniston flick might cause a riot.

    Characters Attack

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.