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trimorphism

[trahy-mawr-fiz-uh m] /traɪˈmɔr fɪz əm/
noun
1.
Zoology. the occurrence of three forms distinct in structure, coloration, etc., among animals of the same species.
2.
Botany. the occurrence of three different forms of flowers, leaves, etc., on the same plant or on distinct plants of the same species.
3.
Crystallography. the property of some substances of crystallizing in three structurally distinct forms.
4.
the property or condition of occurring in three distinct forms.
Origin
1855-1860
1855-60; < Greek trímorph(os) of three forms (see tri-, -morph) + -ism
Related forms
trimorphic, trimorphous, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for trimorphous

trimorphism

/traɪˈmɔːfɪzəm/
noun
1.
(biology) the property exhibited by certain species of having or occurring in three different forms
2.
the property of certain minerals of existing in three crystalline forms
Derived Forms
trimorphic, trimorphous, adjective
Word Origin
C19: from Greek trimorphos (from tri- + morphē form) + -ism
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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