• A meaningful morphological unit of a language that cannot be further divided (e.g., in, come, -ing, forming incoming).
  • A morphological element considered with respect to its functional relations in a linguistic system.

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Example Sentences

“A morpheme can be a word or a part of a word.”

“The letter ‘s’ is a morpheme that can be added to a noun to make it plural.”

“The linguistics class dedicated two weeks to learning about the types of morphemes.”

Word Origin

French, late 19th century

Why this word?

The word “morpheme” is specific to the field of linguistics, but it’s still a useful term for anyone to know. A morpheme is a unit of a language that cannot be broken down any further — it could be compared loosely to a syllable within a word. For language learners, understanding how morphemes work helps them put together words and sentences. 

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