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Affixes: the building blocks of English
Affixes: the building blocks of English

-morph Also -morphic, -morphous, -morphism, -morphy, and -morphosis.

A specified form or character.

[Greek morphē, form.]

Terms in -morph are nouns describing a person or object with the shape, structure, or character concerned, as for example a pseudomorph (Greek pseudēs, false) is a crystal consisting of one mineral but having the form of another. For more examples see the list below.

Such words have adjectives in -morphic or -morphous, frequently both: allomorphic, enantiomorphic, isomorphous, pseudomorphous. A few adjectives in these endings do not have corresponding nouns in -morph, of which one is zygomorphic (Greek zugon, yoke), of a flower that has only one plane of symmetry, as in a pea or snapdragon.

Terms in -morphism and -morphy are abstract nouns for the state or condition concerned: anthropomorphism (Greek anthrōpos, human being), the attribution of human characteristics or behaviour to a god, animal, or object; gynandromorphy (Greek gunandros, of doubtful sex), a condition, especially in insects, in which an individual can have some male and some female characteristics.

A few nouns exist in -morphosis referring to a change of state: anamorphosis (Greek ana, back), a distorted projection or drawing which appears normal when viewed from a particular point or with a suitable mirror or lens; metamorphosis, a change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one.

Examples of words in -morph
All word origins are from Greek.

allomorph in linguistics, any of two or more actual representations of a morpheme, such as the difference pronunciations of the plural ending -s allos, other
biomorph a decorative form or object based on or resembling a living organism bios, here meaning organic life
ectomorph a person with a lean and delicate build of body, in which physical structures from the ectodermal layer of the embryo predominate ektos, outside
enantiomorph each of two crystalline or other geometrical forms which are mirror images of each other enantios, opposite
endomorph a person with a soft round build of body and a high proportion of fat tissue, in which physical structures from the endodermal layer of the embryo predominate endon, within
isomorph two objects having the same form; also, a line in a linguistic atlas connecting places exhibiting closely similar morphological forms isos, equal
mesomorph a person whose build is compact and muscular, in which physical structures from the mesodermal layer of the embryo predominate mesos, middle
metamorph something that has been transformed in some way; in science fiction an organism that can change its bodily appearance at will meta, here meaning change
palynomorph something of the shape of a pollen grain palunein, sprinkle
polymorph an organism or inorganic object or material which takes various forms polu-, many
pseudomorph a crystal consisting of one mineral but having the form of another pseudēs, false

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