morphology


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Morphology \Mor*phol"o*gy\, n. [Gr. morfh` form + -logy: cf. F.
   morphologie.]
   1. (Biol.) That branch of biology which deals with the
      structure of animals and plants, treating of the forms of
      organs and describing their varieties, homologies, and
      metamorphoses. See Tectology, and Promorphology.
      [1913 Webster]

   2. (Biol.) The form and structure of an organism.
      [PJC]

   3. (Linguistics) The branch of linguistics which studies the
      patterns by which words are formed from other words,
      including inflection, compounding, and derivation.
      [PJC]

   4. Specifically: The study of the patterns of inflection of
      words or word classes in any given language; the study of
      the patterns in which morphemes combine to form words, and
      the rules for combination; morphemics; as, the morphology
      of Spanish verbs; also, the inflection patterns
      themselves.
      [PJC]
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