me·​tam·​er·​ism | \ mə-ˈta-mə-ˌri-zəm How to pronounce metamerism (audio) \

Definition of metamerism

1 : the condition of having or the stage of evolutionary development characterized by a body made up of metameres The basic principle of arthropod design is metamerism, the construction of the body from an extended series of repeated segments.— Stephen Jay Gould
2 : the identical visual appearance of two colors that have different physical or spectral compositions : the condition of being metameric in color … the colors of dyes or pigments that match in daylight may not match in incandescent or fluorescent light, and so on, a characteristic known as metamerism.— Kurt Nassau

First Known Use of metamerism

1877, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About metamerism

Time Traveler for metamerism

Time Traveler

The first known use of metamerism was in 1877

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near metamerism




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for metamerism

Cite this Entry

“Metamerism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for metamerism


me·​tam·​er·​ism | \ mə-ˈtam-ə-ˌriz-əm How to pronounce metamerism (audio) \

Medical Definition of metamerism

1 : isomerism especially of chemical compounds of the same type
2 : the condition of having or the stage of evolutionary development characterized by a body made up of metamers that is usually held to be an essential prelude to the differentiation of the more highly organized animals (as arthropods and vertebrates) through the disproportionate development and elaboration of some segments together with the coalescence, reduction, or loss of others
3 : the phenomenon exhibited by pairs of color metamers the problem of metamerism in matching artificial with natural teeth

More from Merriam-Webster on metamerism Encyclopedia article about metamerism


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!