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.
1. A reference to a muscular or sturdy body build characterized by the relative prominence of structures developed from the embryonic mesoderm (contrasted with ectomorphic, endomorphic).
2. In chemistry, pertaining to or existing in an intermediate state, as a liquid crystal in the nematic or smectic state.
1. Referring to or characterized by changes of form, appearance, character, or metamorphosis.
2. Pertaining to rocks that are altered considerably from their original structure and mineralogy by means of pressure and heat.
1. Mineralogic and structural changes in solid rocks caused by physical conditions which are different from those under which the rocks originally were formed.
2. A process of change in the physical structure, texture, or composition of rocks caused by agents of heat, deforming pressure, shearing stress, hot, chemically active fluids, or a combination of these, acting while the rock that is being changed remains essentially in the solid state.

Theoretically, rocks are formed when their constituents are in equilibrium with ambient physical conditions. If the conditions are changed by movements in the earth's crust or by igneous activity, metamorphism occurs to re-establish equilibrium and it changes the physical character of the rock mass.

metamorphosis (s) (noun), metamorphoses (pl)
1. A complete or marked change of physical form, structure, or substance: During the beginning of winter, an overnight metamorphosis of the pond water in Sam's backyard resulted in ice.
2. A transformation caused by some supposed supernatural powers: In the story Jane was reading, the prince was changed into a frog by metamorphosis caused by the bad witch!
3. In zoology, a complete or marked change in the form of an animal as it develops into an adult: Examples of two metamorphoses involve the change from a tadpole to a frog or from a caterpillar to a butterfly.
A marked change in condition or physical appearance.
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1. A description of an organism or species that exists in a single discrete form, as distinct from one that changes form, as a caterpillar does when it becomes a butterfly.
2. Having only one form; that is, unchangeable in form throughout development.
Possession of a single body form throughout the life cycle.
Composed of cells or lesions of the same type.
morph ratio cline
A gradual change in the frequency of appearance of certain basic body shapes and structures that accompanies changes in geographical location and ecological conditions.
1. Regeneration whereby one part is transformed into another by reorganization of tissue fragments rather than by cell proliferation.
2. Transformation of one part into another in the regeneration of parts.
3. A gradual growth or development into a particular form.
Having a restoring effect on the shape of the body.
Having a deforming effect on the shape of the body.
morpheme (s) (noun), morphemes (pl)
1. A Morpheme is the smallest unit of meaning in a language.
2. The smallest units of speech that convey meaning.
3. The smallest lexical unit of a language; such as, a word, root, affix, or inflectional ending.

Examples of morphemes include: man, run, pro-, -ess, -ing, etc.; and there are many Latin and Greek morphemes which are being used in English.

A word can contain more than one morpheme; for example,"myalgia" can be divided into two morphemes, the prefix my, "muscle" and algia, "pain"; however, the word morose cannot be divided into anything smaller.

In spoken language, morphemes are composed of phonemes (the smallest linguistically distinctive units of sound); and in written language, morphemes are composed of graphemes (the smallest units of written language).

In Greek and Roman mythology, the son of sleep and the god of dreams who lay on an ebony bed in a dim-lit cave, surrounded by poppies.

Morpheus was the son of Hypnos from whence comes hypnosis. To be in the arms of Morpheus is to be asleep.

The drug morphine is named after Morpheus.

The Roman poet Ovid (43 B.C.-17 A.D.) in his Metamorphoses, coined the name of Morpheus from the Greek morphe, "form" + the Latin -eus, because Morpheus was responsible for shaping dreams, and giving shape to the beings who inhabit dreams.

A powerful narcotic agent with strong analgesic (painkilling) action and other significant effects on the central nervous system.

Morphine is a naturally occurring member of a large chemical class of compounds called alkaloids and it is dangerously addicting.

Morphine is highly effective in relieving pain and it also inhibits the cough reflex; however, it also decreases the desire to eat and causes constipation.

Side effects include detriment to mental performance, euphoria, depression, drowsiness, lethargy, and blurred vision.

The term, which is derived from Morpheus, the mythological son of sleep and god of dreams, was coined in 1805 by German apothecary Adolf Serturner (1783-1841) to designate the main alkaloid in opium that comes from the poppy plant.

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