morpheme

noun mor·pheme \ ˈmȯr-ˌfēm \

Definition of morpheme

:a distinctive collocation of phonemes (such as the free form pin or the bound form -s of pins) having no smaller meaningful parts

morphemic

play \mȯr-ˈfē-mik\ adjective

morphemically

play \-mi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

morpheme was our Word of the Day on 09/25/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of morpheme in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples of morpheme from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'morpheme.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Morphemes are the indivisible basic units of language, much like the atoms which physicists once assumed were the indivisible units of matter. English speakers borrowed morpheme from French morphème, which was itself created from the Greek root morphē, meaning "form." The French borrowed -ème from their word phonème, which, like English phoneme, means "the smallest unit of speech that can be used to make one word different from another word." The French suffix and its English equivalent -eme are used to create words that refer to distinctive units of language structure. Words formed from -eme include lexeme ("a meaningful linguistic unit that is an item in the vocabulary of a language"), grapheme ("a unit of a writing system"), and toneme ("a unit of intonation in a language in which variations in tone distinguish meaning").

Origin and Etymology of morpheme

French morphème, from Greek morphē form


MORPHEME Defined for English Language Learners

morpheme

noun

Definition of morpheme for English Language Learners

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



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to praise usually to excess

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