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polymorphism

[pol-ee-mawr-fiz-uh m] /ˌpɒl iˈmɔr fɪz əm/
noun
1.
the state or condition of being polymorphous.
2.
Crystallography. crystallization into two or more chemically identical but crystallographically distinct forms.
3.
Biology. the existence of an organism in several form or color varieties.
4.
Genetics. the presence of two or more distinct phenotypes in a population due to the expression of different alleles of a given gene, as human blood groups O, A, B, and AB.
Origin
1830-1840
1830-40; polymorph + -ism
Related forms
polymorphistic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for polymorphistic

polymorphism

/ˌpɒlɪˈmɔːfɪzəm/
noun
1.
(biology)
  1. the occurrence of more than one form of individual in a single species within an interbreeding population
  2. the occurrence of more than one form in the individual polyps of a coelenterate colony
2.
the existence or formation of different types of crystal of the same chemical compound
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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polymorphistic in Medicine

polymorphism pol·y·mor·phism (pŏl'ē-môr'fĭz'əm)
n.

  1. The occurrence of different forms, stages, or types in individual organisms or in organisms of the same species, independent of sexual variations.

  2. Crystallization of a compound in at least two distinct forms. Also called pleomorphism.


pol'y·mor'phic or pol'y·mor'phous adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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polymorphistic in Science
polymorphism
  (pŏl'ē-môr'fĭz'əm)   
  1. The existence of two or more different forms in an adult organism of the same species, as of an insect. In bees, the presence of queen, worker, and drone is an example of polymorphism. Differences between the sexes and between breeds of domesticated animals are not considered examples of polymorphism.

  2. The crystallization of a compound in at least two distinct forms. Diamond and graphite, for example, are polymorphs of the element carbon. They both consist entirely of carbon but have different crystal structures and different physical properties.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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