polymorphism

noun poly·mor·phism \ ˌpä-lē-ˈmȯr-ˌfi-zəm \

Definition of polymorphism

:the quality or state of existing in or assuming different forms: such as
a (1) :existence of a species in several forms independent of the variations of sex
(2) :existence of a gene in several allelic forms; also :a variation in a specific DNA sequence
(3) :existence of a molecule (such as an enzyme) in several forms in a single species
b :the property of crystallizing in two or more forms with distinct structure

polymorphic

play \-fik\ adjective

polymorphically

play \-fi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Recent Examples of polymorphism from the Web

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

First Known Use of polymorphism

1839


Medical Dictionary

polymorphism

noun poly·mor·phism \ ˌpäl-i-ˈmȯr-ˌfiz-əm \

medical Definition of polymorphism

:the quality or state of existing in or assuming different forms: as
a (1) :existence of a species in several forms independent of the variations of sex
(2) :existence of a gene in several allelic forms; also :a variation in a specific sequence of DNA
(3) :existence of a molecule (as an enzyme) in several forms in a single species
b :the property of crystallizing in two or more forms with distinct structure

Learn More about polymorphism


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

serious difficulty or misfortune

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one-green-toy-robot-amidst-many-red-toy-robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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