- the property of certain substances of crystallizing in two or more different forms or systems
- Biol. the condition in which a species has two or more very different morphological forms, as the castes of social insects or the flowers of certain plants
- Genetics the presence of phenotypic variation within a single population
Origin of polymorphismpolymorph(ous) + -ism
- Biology The occurrence of more than one form, as several alleles of a particular gene or winged and wingless forms of the same species.
- Chemistry Crystallization of a compound in at least two distinct forms. Also called pleomorphism.
- pol′y·mor′phic, pol′y·mor′phous
(countable and uncountable, plural polymorphisms)
- The ability to assume different forms or shapes.
- (biology) The coexistence, in the same locality, of two or more distinct forms independent of sex, not connected by intermediate gradations, but produced from common parents.
- (computer science) The feature of object-oriented programming pertaining to the dynamic treatment of data elements based on their type, allowing for an instance of a method to have several definitions.
- (mathematics, type theory) The property of certain typed formal systems of allowing for the use of type variables and binders/quantifiers over those type variables; likewise, the property of certain expressions (within such typed formal systems) of making use of at least one such typed variable.
- (crystallography) The ability of a solid material to exist in more than one form or crystal structure; pleomorphism.
- (genetics) The regular existence of two or more different genotypes within a given species or population; also, variability of amino acid sequences within a gene's protein.
From poly- +"Ž -morphism.
polymorphism - Computer Definition
Meaning many shapes. In object technology, polymorphism is exhibited when a request (message) produces different results based on the object that it is sent to. For example, the command to show the cursor on screen displays a different icon due to its current location on screen. See object-oriented programming and polymorphic virus.