-morph Also -morphic, -morphous, -morphism, -morphy, and -morphosis.
A specified form or character.
[Greek morphē, form.]
Terms in -morph are nouns describing a person or object with the shape, structure, or character concerned, as for example a pseudomorph (Greek pseudēs, false) is a crystal consisting of one mineral but having the form of another. For more examples see the list below.
Such words have adjectives in -morphic or -morphous, frequently both: allomorphic, enantiomorphic, isomorphous, pseudomorphous. A few adjectives in these endings do not have corresponding nouns in -morph, of which one is zygomorphic (Greek zugon, yoke), of a flower that has only one plane of symmetry, as in a pea or snapdragon.
Terms in -morphism and -morphy are abstract nouns for the state or condition concerned: anthropomorphism (Greek anthrōpos, human being), the attribution of human characteristics or behaviour to a god, animal, or object; gynandromorphy (Greek gunandros, of doubtful sex), a condition, especially in insects, in which an individual can have some male and some female characteristics.
A few nouns exist in -morphosis referring to a change of state: anamorphosis (Greek ana, back), a distorted projection or drawing which appears normal when viewed from a particular point or with a suitable mirror or lens; metamorphosis, a change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one.
Examples of words in -morph
All word origins are from Greek.
|allomorph||in linguistics, any of two or more actual representations of a morpheme, such as the difference pronunciations of the plural ending -s||allos, other|
|biomorph||a decorative form or object based on or resembling a living organism||bios, here meaning organic life|
|ectomorph||a person with a lean and delicate build of body, in which physical structures from the ectodermal layer of the embryo predominate||ektos, outside|
|enantiomorph||each of two crystalline or other geometrical forms which are mirror images of each other||enantios, opposite|
|endomorph||a person with a soft round build of body and a high proportion of fat tissue, in which physical structures from the endodermal layer of the embryo predominate||endon, within|
|isomorph||two objects having the same form; also, a line in a linguistic atlas connecting places exhibiting closely similar morphological forms||isos, equal|
|mesomorph||a person whose build is compact and muscular, in which physical structures from the mesodermal layer of the embryo predominate||mesos, middle|
|metamorph||something that has been transformed in some way; in science fiction an organism that can change its bodily appearance at will||meta, here meaning change|
|palynomorph||something of the shape of a pollen grain||palunein, sprinkle|
|polymorph||an organism or inorganic object or material which takes various forms||polu-, many|
|pseudomorph||a crystal consisting of one mineral but having the form of another||pseudēs, false|