Definition of morphology
1 a : a branch of biology that deals with the form and structure of animals and plants b : the form and structure of an organism or any of its parts
2 a : a study and description of word formation (as inflection, derivation, and compounding) in language b : the system of word-forming elements and processes in a language
4 : the external structure of rocks in relation to the development of erosional forms or topographic features
morphologicallyplay \-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
morphologistplay \mȯr-ˈfä-lə-jist\ noun
Did You Know?
Within the field of biology, morphology is the study of the shapes and arrangement of parts of organisms, in order to determine their function, their development, and how they may have been shaped by evolution. Morphology is particularly important in classifying species, since it can often reveal how closely one species is related to another. Morphology is studied within other sciences as well, including astronomy and geology. And in language, morphology considers where words come from and why they look the way they do.
Origin and Etymology of morphology
German Morphologie, from morph- + -logie -logy
First Known Use: 1830
MORPHOLOGY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of morphology for English Language Learners
linguistics : the study and description of how words are formed in language
biology : the study of the form and structure of animals and plants
: the form and structure of a plant or animal or any of its parts
Medical Definition of morphology
1: a branch of biology that deals with the form and structure of animals and plants especially with respect to the forms, relations, metamorphoses, and phylogenetic development of organs apart from their functions—see anatomy 1; compare physiology 1
2: the form and structure of an organism or any of its parts
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up morphology? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).