Definition of polymorph in US English:



  • 1An organism or inorganic object or material which takes various forms.

    • ‘Complexity in colonial organisms is often equated with the degree of integration in polymorphs.’
    • ‘Cavansite was first discovered with its polymorph pentagonite in Oregon but only in small quantities of microscopic crystals.’
    • ‘The skeletal morphology of monticular zooids in H. portelli suggests that specialized male polymorphs may not have evolved by Late Eocene times.’
    • ‘Immediately after suspension of the lipid film in buffer these samples contain cholesterol crystals at 25 deg C, largely in the form of the low temperature polymorph of anhydrous cholesterol.’
    • ‘Furthermore, an x-ray powder diffraction pattern obtained from early-formed filamentous crystallites of cholesterol in bile solution has been interpreted as possibly depicting an unknown crystalline polymorph of cholesterol.’
    1. 1.1Physiology A polymorphonuclear leukocyte.
      • ‘Urethritis is confirmed if the urethral smear shows five or more polymorphs per high power field.’
      • ‘The microscopy of genital swabs for polymorphs has shown that higher cell counts per high power field are directly proportional to the positivity rate for C. trachomatis.’
      • ‘Neutrophil polymorphs were only occasionally present.’
      • ‘The diagnosis of acute inflammation was based on the finding of collections of extravascular polymorphs in the epithelium, lamina propria, or muscular layers.’
      • ‘There are two main groups: the type of white blood cells known as polymorphs (polymorphonuclear leucocytes - those with multi-lobed nuclei); and macrophages that derive from the monocytes in the blood.’


Early 19th century: from Greek polumorphos, from polu- ‘many’ + morphē ‘form’.