mo·​not·​ro·​py | \ məˈnä‧trəpē \
plural -es

Definition of monotropy

: the relation of two different forms of the same substance (as white and red phosphorus) that have no definite transition point since only one form (as red phosphorus) is stable and the change from the unstable form to the stable form is irreversible

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

History and Etymology for monotropy

International Scientific Vocabulary mon- + -tropy; probably originally formed as German monotropie

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about monotropy

Statistics for monotropy

Cite this Entry

“Monotropy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

Comments on monotropy

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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