morpho-, morph-, -morphous, -morphically, -morphia, -morphosis, -morphously, -morphy, -morphic, -morphism

(Greek: shape, form, figure, appearance)

Origins of morpho- words

The Roman god of sleep is Somnus; so, when we are sleepy, we are "somnolent". Sleep walking is "somnambulism" which in Latin means exactly the same thing; that is, "sleepwalking".

The son of Somnus is Morpheus, the god of dreams, indicating that sleep gives birth to dreams. Morpheus goes back through Latin to the Greek word for "form" or "shape" because dreams are forms and shapes developed in the mind while sleeping.

—Compiled from
Words from the Myths by Isaac Asimov;
Houghton Mifflin Company; Boston; 1961; pages 43-44.
zoomorphic (adjective) (not comparable)
1. Relating to or characterized by the form of an animal: In the game at the party, the children tried zoomorphic positions of different fauna which were to be guessed by the others in the group.
2. Regarding human behavior as equivalent to animal behavior: Jack's mother thought that her son acted in a zoomorphic manner when devouring his meal at the dinner table.
3. Concerning a deity (a god or a goddess) or a human that has an animal form or attributes: One zoomorphic creature from the Greek myths is the Centaur which had the head, arms, and chest of a man and the body and legs of a horse.

Another zoomorphic human is a mermaid which has the upper body of a woman and the lower body (from about the stomach area) of a fish.

zoomorphism (s) (noun), zoomorphisms (pl)
1. The view of human behavior in terms of the behavior of animals: Zoomorphism refers especially to the principle that human actions are entirely the result of biological and instinctual drives rather than reason or emotion.
2. The fact of conceiving or representing a deity as having an animal form: In ancient Egyptian religion, gods were portrayed in an animal form, which shows it being not only a piece of art, but also important in a religious context, and known as zoomorphism.
3. The attribution of animal characteristics or qualities to a god: Airavata is the king god of elephants which appears in Indian mythology and is another example of zoomorphism.
4. The use of animal forms in symbolism, literature, or graphic representation: Zoomorphism, for example, is found in Islamic art.
zoomorphosis (s) (noun), zoomorphoses (pl)
1. Having the form of an animal: In one fairy tale, zoomorphosis took place when the bad fairy cast a spell on the prince and turned him into a frog!
2. Formation of structures in plants as a result of animal agents: A gall on a plant is a product of animal activity and is known as zoomorphosis.
zygomorphic (adjective), more zygomorphic, most zygomorphic
Regarding the division of a flower into symmetrical halves by only one longitudinal plane passing through the axis: Many flowers are symmetrical in only one plane (that is, symmetry is bilateral) and are termed to be irregular or zygomorphic (meaning yoke-formed or pair-formed).

In irregular flowers, other floral parts may be modified from the regular form, but the petals show the greatest deviation from radial symmetry.

Examples of zygomorphic flowers may be seen in orchids and members of the pea family.

zygomorphism, zygomorphy (s) (noun) (no pl)
The characteristic of an organism in which its parts are divisible lengthwise into similar or symmetrical halves: Zygomorphism is the state of symmetrical bilateralism in which both sides mirror each other to a great extent.
zygomorphous (adjective) (not comparable)
Pertaining to a living thing that is symmetrically bilateral: Zygomorphous organisms, or parts of organisms, are capable of division into two balanced halves in only in a single plane, and this capability is specifically applied to flowers.

Inter-related cross references, directly or indirectly, involving word units dealing with "form, shape, appearance": eido-; figur-; form-; icono-; ideo-; imag-; -oid; typo-.