from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The property of crystallizing in three distinct forms.
  • n. The coexistence among individuals of the same species of three distinct forms, not generally connected by intermediate gradations.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The property of crystallizing in three forms fundamentally distinct, as is the case with titanium dioxide, which crystallizes in the forms of rutile, octahedrite, and brookite. See pleomorphism.
  • n. The coĆ«xistence among individuals of the same species of three distinct forms, not connected, as a rule, by intermediate gradations; the condition among individuals of the same species of having three different shapes or proportions of corresponding parts; -- contrasted with polymorphism, and dimorphism.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In crystallography, the property of crystallizing in three fundamentally different forms.
  • n. In biology, existence under three distinct forms. It is not rare among insects.
  • n. In botany, the occurrence of three distinct forms of flowers or other parts upon the same plant, or upon plants of the same species.


See trimorphic. (Wiktionary)


  • There are, also, cases of dimorphism and trimorphism, both with animals and plants.

    II. Variation under Nature. Individual Differences

  • Another twist to the story is that trimorphism is also known to exist in other animals - although it is extremely rare - and in these species the three different male forms are determined by inheritance of different alleles. - latest science and technology news stories

  • The study initially discovered male trimorphism in dung beetles. - latest science and technology news stories

  • Rowland and Emlen's ensuing studies of social interactions under facultative male trimorphism may thus provide additional new insights into these processes.

    UNM Today

  • Once recognized, the research was expanded and trimorphism was found in other families of beetles as well, and in other weapon systems - which include head horns in dung beetles, mandibles in stag beetles and ventral spines in weevils.

    UNM Today

  • "This likely means that facultative trimorphism operates by new and very different evolutionary rules than do 'genetic' trimorphisms - the latter of which have been intensively studied because of the insights they have provided about sexual selection," said Rowland.

    UNM Today

  • However, male trimorphism in beetles appears to be facultative in nature.

    UNM Today


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