poly-

poly-

a combining form with the meanings “much, many” and, in chemistry, “polymeric,” used in the formation of compound words: polyandrous; polyculture; polyethylene.

Origin:
< Greek, combining form representing polýs; akin to Old English fela many. See plus

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World English Dictionary
poly-
 
combining form
1.  more than one; many or much: polyhedron
2.  having an excessive or abnormal number or amount: polycythaemia
 
[from Greek polus much, many; related to Old English fela many]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

poly-
comb. form meaning "many, much," from Gk. poly-, combining form of polys "much" (plural polloi); cognate with L. plus, from PIE base *ple- (cf. Skt. purvi "much," prayah "mostly;" Avestan perena-, O.Pers. paru "much;" Gk. plethos "people, multitude, great number," pleres "full," polys "much, plenty,"
ploutos "wealth," plethein "be full;" Lith. pilus "full, abundant;" O.C.S. plunu; Goth. filu "much," O.N. fjöl-, O.E. fela, feola "much, many;" O.E. folgian; O.Ir. lan, Welsh llawn "full;" O.Ir. il, Welsh elu "much"), probably related to base *pele- "to spread."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

poly- pref.

  1. More than one; many; much: polyatomic.

  2. More than usual; excessive; abnormal: polydipsia.

  3. Polymer; polymeric: polyethylene.

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
poly-  
A prefix meaning "many," as in polygon, a figure having many sides. In chemistry, it is used to form the names of polymers by being attached to the name of the base unit of which the polymer is made, as in polysaccharide, a polymer made of repeating simple sugars (monosaccharides).
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Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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