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.


Next Word in the Dictionary: morphemics
Previous Word in the Dictionary: morphallaxis
All Words Near: morpheme

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up morpheme? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

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