noun \ˈmr-ˌfēm\

linguistics : a word or a part of a word that has a meaning and that contains no smaller part that has a meaning

Full Definition of MORPHEME

:  a distinctive collocation of phonemes (as the free form pin or the bound form -s of pins) having no smaller meaningful parts
mor·phe·mic \mr-ˈfē-mik\ adjective
mor·phe·mi·cal·ly \-mi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of MORPHEME

  1. The word pins contains two morphemes: pin and the plural suffix -s.

Origin of MORPHEME

French morphème, from Greek morphē form
First Known Use: 1926


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

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.


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