dimorphism

noun

di·​mor·​phism (ˌ)dī-ˈmȯr-ˌfi-zəm How to pronounce dimorphism (audio)
: the condition or property of being dimorphic or dimorphous: such as
a
: the existence of two different forms (as of color or size) of a species especially in the same population
sexual dimorphism
b
: the existence of a part (such as leaves of a plant) in two different forms

Examples of dimorphism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In species with pronounced size dimorphism, larger males compete with one another for access to females, and among the great apes larger males socially dominate females. Cara Ocobock, Scientific American, 1 Nov. 2023 Humans lie closer to gibbons on the dimorphism spectrum: human males can be up to 20 percent more massive, on average, than females. Blake Edgar, Scientific American, 1 Oct. 2016 Humans seem to lay between other ape lineages in terms of physical dimorphism. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 6 Jan. 2012 In particular, dimorphism between the sexes, and the importance of selection in mate choice. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 23 June 2013 Not to mention that dimorphism isn’t necessarily stark. Riley Black, Discover Magazine, 10 Nov. 2020 But the general behavioral point is rooted in realities of anatomy and life-history; in many dioecious species males and females exhibit a great deal of biological and behavioral dimorphism. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 31 Mar. 2010 The reason why honeybees use such a sophisticated and intricate mechanism to regulate the queen–worker dimorphism is a puzzle. Chao Yan, Scientific American, 17 June 2020 Hunt believes knowledge of the adverse effects of dimorphism could help us better predict and prepare for species endangerment down the road. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian, 16 Apr. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dimorphism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1832, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dimorphism was in 1832

Dictionary Entries Near dimorphism

Cite this Entry

“Dimorphism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dimorphism. Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition

dimorphism

noun
di·​mor·​phism -ˌfiz-əm How to pronounce dimorphism (audio)
: the condition or property of being dimorphic or dimorphous: as
a(1)
: the existence of two different forms (as of color or size) of a species especially in the same population
(2)
: the existence of an organ in two different forms
b
: crystallization of a chemical compound in two different forms
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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