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poly-

1.
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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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for poly-

poly-

combining form
1.
more than one; many or much polyhedron
2.
having an excessive or abnormal number or amount polycythaemia
Word Origin
from Greek polus much, many; related to Old English fela many
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for poly-

word-forming element meaning "many, much, multi-, one or more," from Greek poly-, combining form of polys "much" (plural polloi); cognate with Latin plus, from PIE root *pele- (1) "to fill," with derivatives referring to multitudinousness or abundance (cf. Sanskrit purvi "much," prayah "mostly;" Avestan perena-, Old Persian paru "much;" Greek plethos "people, multitude, great number," polys "much, plenty," ploutos "wealth;" Lithuanian pilus "full, abundant;" Old Church Slavonic plunu; Gothic filu "much," Old Norse fjöl-, Old English fela, feola "much, many;" Old English folgian; Old Irish lan, Welsh llawn "full;" Old Irish il, Welsh elu "much"); probably related to root *pele- (2) "to spread."

Properly used in compounds only with words of Greek origin. In chemical names, usually indicating a compound with a large number of atoms or molecules of the same kind (cf. polymer).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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poly- in Medicine

poly- pref.

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

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

  3. Polymer; polymeric: polyethylene.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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poly- in Science
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).
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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