In linguistics, the smallest grammatical unit of speech. It may be an entire word (cat) or an element of a word (re- and -ed in reappeared). In so-called isolating languages, like Vietnamese, each word contains a single morpheme; in languages such as English, words often contain multiple morphemes. The study of morphemes is included in morphology.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on morpheme, visit

Seen & Heard

What made you look up morpheme? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More