Definition of morphology in US English:


nounPlural morphologies

  • 1The study of the forms of things.

    1. 1.1Biology The branch of biology that deals with the form of living organisms, and with relationships between their structures.
      • ‘Indeed, far more studies have examined the relationship between morphology and performance than between performance and fitness.’
      • ‘Analysis of covariance revealed some relationships between subspecies morphology / growth habit and local environmental conditions.’
      • ‘Gross changes in chromosome morphology occur at each mitosis.’
      • ‘Given the relationship with male morphology, another question arising from these studies is what determines wasp body size.’
      • ‘Organisms were identified by morphology and biochemical reactions.’
    2. 1.2Linguistics The study of the forms of words.
      • ‘The general implication is that the ambiguities that exist in the relationships between orthography, phonology, and morphology underlie spelling knowledge.’
      • ‘Of central concern is the relationship between morphology and phonology.’
      • ‘French has inflectional morphology to indicate plurality, person, number, and tense, so inflection is not a foreign concept.’
      • ‘Dialect encompasses various aspects of the language - syntax, morphology, lexicon, phonology.’
      • ‘In some circumstances, languages borrow morphology as well as vocabulary.’
      inflection, form, ending
      View synonyms


Mid 19th century: from Greek morphē ‘form’ + -logy.