Definition of polymorphic in US English:



  • 1Occurring in several different forms, in particular with reference to species or genetic variation.

    ‘polymorphic fish species’
    ‘polymorphic viruses can mutate to make identification difficult’
    • ‘These plants maintained the polymorphic condition, even at high light.’
    • ‘The amino acid glycine has three polymorphic variations.’
    • ‘None of the fixation indices for polymorphic loci in either species were significantly negative.’
    • ‘Genotyping of the four polymorphic markers identified two distinct haplotypes in all of the 23 individuals analysed.’
    • ‘The polymorphic patterns among the samples revealed genetic variations.’
    • ‘The adjacent nucleotide was observed to be polymorphic.’
    • ‘Because the model chocolate contains no crystalline sucrose, the researchers were able to see clearly the changing polymorphic forms of the cocoa butter.’
    • ‘Like many other innate immunity genes studied to date, this is highly polymorphic.’
    • ‘In chimpanzees, six different polymorphic sites were identified.’
    • ‘A perennial herb found largely in Europe and the Mediterranean, it is an extremely polymorphic species.’
    1. 1.1Computing (of a feature of a programming language) allowing routines to use variables of different types at different times.
      ‘useful polymorphic functions’
      • ‘The long PDF explaining their "polymorphic cipher theory" is, unfortunately, no longer available.’
      • ‘They reckon they can prevent copying with their 'multi-randomized, polymorphic quantum physics encoding approach to digital protection'.’
      • ‘A polymorphic batch file appears to be a holy grail to some virus writers, perhaps because of how insanely difficult it is to produce one.’
      • ‘We should write our libraries to have super-clean functional interfaces and make them as polymorphic as reasonable.’
      • ‘The new version is polymorphic, meaning it changes its appearance in an attempt to avoid detection.’
      • ‘Malware has moved away from the use of complex polymorphic engines.’
      • ‘This could allow the bad guys to more easily run more complex polymorphic and encryption routines.’
      • ‘It carries a highly destructive payload, and also has some rudimentary polymorphic properties.’
      • ‘It has polymorphic attributes, and its behaviour is determined on the set of installed components.’
      • ‘The techniques they describe include polymorphic inline cache and regular expression improvements.’