poly·​mor·​phous ˌpä-lē-ˈmȯr-fəs How to pronounce polymorphous (audio)
: having, assuming, or occurring in various forms, characters, or styles : polymorphic
a polymorphous rash
polymorphous sexuality
polymorphously adverb

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web In the late 1970s Mueller traded on her midnight-movie stardom to become a leading light of New York’s downtown scene at the height of its polymorphous perversity. Negar Azimi, The New York Review of Books, 30 Mar. 2023 Along with enduring anxious nights underground during aerial warfare, each is shown in his own way to have drawn on more transcendent themes, namely the chthonic mysteries of the English landscape and the polymorphous eroticism of the nude human body. Richard B. Woodward, WSJ, 3 Dec. 2022 Moreover, there are specific skin reactions that can happen during early summer with the first exposure to ultraviolet radiation, such as polymorphous light eruption (or PMLE), a reaction of sun sensitivity that happens when our skin is not exposed to the sun for long periods of time. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, 29 Mar. 2021 Viewed today, the show’s quirky communitarianism — its idea of America as a polymorphous, all-welcoming dance party — feels like both celebration and requiem for the irreplaceable delight dancing together on a stage. James Poniewozik, New York Times, 16 Oct. 2020 Generally left-leaning people whose politics were either amorphous or polymorphous appropriated the adjective, too. Win Mccormack, The New Republic, 25 Sep. 2020 What connects all these disparate endeavors is Johnson’s polymorphous curiosity about the world. Michael Hardy, Wired, 19 Jan. 2020 There is an abundance of cheese and wine, but there are also shelves full of films on DVD, many of which tap into the polymorphous mythology that Mallmann likes to feast on: 81∕2, Like Water for Chocolate, Blue Velvet, Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life. João Canziani, Esquire, 22 Jan. 2018 Mr. Shear follows the tradition of intuitive, stylistically polymorphous abstract painters like Raoul De Keyser and René Daniëls, but connects more directly with the canvas. Roberta Smith, Will Heinrich And Martha Schwendener, New York Times, 22 June 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'polymorphous.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Greek polymorphos, from poly- + -morphos -morphous

First Known Use

1754, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of polymorphous was in 1754

Dictionary Entries Near polymorphous

Cite this Entry

“Polymorphous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polymorphous. Accessed 7 Jun. 2023.

Medical Definition


poly·​mor·​phous -ˈmȯr-fəs How to pronounce polymorphous (audio)
: having, assuming, or occurring in various forms : polymorphic
polymorphous skin rashes
polymorphously adverb
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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