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Of or relating to a language such as Eskimo or Mohawk, characterized by long, morphologically complex words with a large number of affixes that express syntactic relationships and meanings usually expressed as phrases or sentences in other languages.


(ˌpɒlɪsɪnˈθɛtɪk) or


(Linguistics) denoting languages, such as Inuktitut, in which single words may express the meaning of whole phrases or clauses by virtue of multiple affixes. Compare synthetic3, analytic3, agglutinative2
polysynthesis n
ˌpolyˈsynthesism, ˌpolyˈsynthetism n
ˌpolysynˈthetically adv


(ˌpɒl i sɪnˈθɛt ɪk)

also pol`y•syn•thet′i•cal,

(of a language) characterized by the use of long words containing a large number of affixes to express syntactic relationships and meanings, as many American Indian languages. Compare analytic (def. 3), synthetic (def. 4).
[1815–1825; < Late Greek polysýnthet(os) much compounded + -ic. See poly-, synthetic]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.polysynthetic - forming derivative or compound words by putting together constituents each of which expresses a single definite meaning
synthetic - systematic combining of root and modifying elements into single words
References in periodicals archive ?
Plagioclase (10%) occurs as colorless individuals of xenoblastic and heteroblastic character, exhibiting polysynthetic twinning.
There exists a continuum between the isolating and the polysynthetic strategy which we could label 'phonomorphosyntactic' since phonological, morphological and syntactic factors play a relevant role, as regards the semantic value of the concerned sound string.
Aimed first of all at the Utkuhiksalingmiut speakers and their descendants, many of whom do not speak the language anymore, the dictionary can also be useful to students of Inuktitut and Western Canadian Arctic Inuktun, as well as to linguists interested in Aboriginal and, more generally, polysynthetic tongues.
b) Morphology: A language is considered to be complex if it is polysynthetic, and simple if it is not.
These parallel lines are attributed to polysynthetic twin planes corresponding to the rhombohedral {1011} faces of corundum.
The first one occurs as medium-grained individuals with heteroblastic to subidioblastic shape (Figure 4), showing characteristic rhombohedral cleavage and polysynthetic twinning.
This paper proposes a conceptual model for a n-tier client-server application for financing activities through the contribution of the masses, a notion expressed in general English by the polysynthetic term "Crowd-funding".
1) the superiority claimed by certain researchers for the languages of Europe, which are extremely developed as flexional system, against the "cumbersome," unmanageably difficult systems of agglutinative or polysynthetic languages of northern Asia and of America (Georg von der Gabelentz, 1891; cf.
Albite frequently occurs in medium- to fine-grained aggregates, which show polysynthetic twinning.
It can be distinguished from other type of feldspars because of its polysynthetic twinning visible in crystals.