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polymorphism Line breaks: poly|morph|ism
Pronunciation: /ˌpɒlɪˈmɔːfɪz(ə)m/

Definition of polymorphism in English:


[mass noun]
1The condition of occurring in several different forms: the complexity and polymorphism of human cognition
1.1 Biology The occurrence of different forms among the members of a population or colony, or in the life cycle of an individual organism: the workers of this species exhibit polymorphism, specialized physical castes
More example sentences
  • Many of the 5000 or so bryozoan species exhibit polymorphism.
  • In the subclass Hexacorallia, polymorphism of polyps in colonies is unknown, so for this group, variation in life cycles simply involves fission.
  • Examples of the concept include Integration and polymorphism: degree of autonomy of individual versus integration of specialized individuals, relative degrees of fitness (Boardman and Cheetham, 1973; Schopf, 1973; Bates and Kirk, 1985; Pitelka and Ashmun, 1985; Mackie, 1986).
1.2 Genetics The presence of genetic variation within a population, upon which natural selection can operate.
Example sentences
  • Double reduction may play a significant role in plant evolution and the maintenance of genetic polymorphism in natural populations.
  • A common goal of population genetic investigations is to explain the fate of genetic polymorphism within a species.
  • Future clinical trials may be aimed at specific patient populations determined by genetic polymorphism and other risk factors.
1.3 Computing A feature of a programming language that allows routines to use variables of different types at different times: object oriented programming introduces novel features like polymorphism
More example sentences
  • Late binding in addition to data types provides a needed aspect to allow polymorphism or the choosing of an object's method implementation at run-time.
  • RMI uses object serialization to marshal and unmarshal parameters and does not truncate types, supporting true object-oriented polymorphism.
  • The doubling-up of parentheses in the way Verity describes is nothing more or less than an early form of polymorphism, as functions can also be seen as virtual arrays of infinite values.



Pronunciation: /ˌpɒliˈmɔːfɪk/
Example sentences
  • This last approach may under-represent evolutionary steps within those polymorphic taxa.
  • There are 4 common polymorphic forms of factor XIII that differ among ethnic groups.
  • This is a reasonable assumption because of the low frequency of polymorphic sites in the analyzed set of sequences.


Pronunciation: /ˌpɒliˈmɔːfəs/
Example sentences
  • In short, I can't decide whether or not I'm a congenital liberal, who found a vent to come out through, or a polymorphous soul which took on the first identity it found to be coherent.
  • All manner of mouth noise, acoustic instruments and polymorphous percussion make up its rainbow plumage, essential during mating season.
  • The polymorphous nature of identity and the choices we can make about who we are at any given time are some of the great liberations of our age.

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