morpheme

morpheme

[mawr-feem]
noun Linguistics.
any of the minimal grammatical units of a language, each constituting a word or meaningful part of a word, that cannot be divided into smaller independent grammatical parts, as the, write, or the -ed of waited. Compare allomorph ( def 2 ), morph ( def 1 ).

Origin:
1895–1900; < French morphème; see morph-, -eme

morphemic, adjective
morphemically, adverb
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World English Dictionary
morpheme (ˈmɔːfiːm)
 
n
linguistics a speech element having a meaning or grammatical function that cannot be subdivided into further such elements
 
[C20: from French, from Greek morphē form, coined on the model of phoneme; see -eme]
 
mor'phemic
 
adj
 
mor'phemically
 
adv

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Word Origin & History

morpheme
1896, "part of a word which contains the affixes," from Fr. morphème, coined from Gk. morphe "form, shape" (see morphine), on analogy of phonème.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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