Share this entry
morpheme Syllabification: mor·pheme
Pronunciation: /ˈmôrˌfēm/

Definition of morpheme in English:


1A meaningful morphological unit of a language that cannot be further divided (e.g., in, come, -ing, forming incoming).
Example sentences
  • In this approach, the specimen sentence has 13 monemes divided into 8 morphemes and 5 lexemes.
  • Cognitive Grammar takes the very strong position that all words and morphemes in a language are symbolic.
  • These include the order in which second language morphemes are acquired, learners' errors, and the stages of inter-language development.
1.1A morphological element considered with respect to its functional relations in a linguistic system.
Example sentences
  • The model of morpheme classification assumes that there are three types of system morphemes (functional elements) as well as content morphemes.
  • With respect to the plural morpheme, it is not only the case that it occurs very often in English text, but it also attaches to very many different noun stems.
  • Specifically, it is suggested that the meaning of the tense morphemes alone do not completely determine the temporal interpretation of a sentence.


Pronunciation: /môrˈfēmik/
Example sentences
  • The smallest possible unities - phonemic - are integrated into ever higher levels of unity - morphemic, syntactic, syntagmatic, narratological - that are simultaneously equivalent to ‘higher’ levels of thought.
  • Comparisons with the reading-age control group indicated that, while the dyslexic children were poorer in the morphemic segmentation tasks, they performed normally for their reading level in the sentence completion tasks.
  • No difference was found between dyslexic and younger normal readers in tasks such as word derivation in a sentence context, production of derived, inflected and compound forms of pseudowords, and synthesis of morphemic element.
Pronunciation: /môrˈfēmik(ə)lē/
Example sentences
  • The translation sentence is to have the syntax of the original, and to differ only morphemically.
  • Compounds and derivatives tend to be spelled morphemically, the established grapheme bases are usually retained regardless of the phonemic alterations involved.
  • For example, the model has already been used to examine how the meanings of morphemically complex words are accessed during reading.


Late 19th century: from French morphème, from Greek morphē 'form', on the pattern of French phonème 'phoneme'.

Words that rhyme with morpheme

sunbeam • academe
Definition of morpheme in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources