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1. Having different forms at different periods of the life cycle, as in stages of insect metamorphosis.
2. Differing from the standard form in size or structure: heteromorphic chromosome pairs.

het′er·o·mor′phism n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˌhɛtərəʊˈmɔːfɪk) or


1. (Biology) differing from the normal form in size, shape, and function
2. (Biology) (of pairs of homologous chromosomes) differing from each other in size or form
3. (Biology) (esp of insects) having different forms at different stages of the life cycle
ˌheteroˈmorphism, ˌheteroˈmorphy n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌhɛt ər əˈmɔr fɪk)

1. Biol. dissimilar in shape, structure, or magnitude.
2. Entomol. undergoing complete metamorphosis; possessing varying forms.
het`er•o•mor′phism, het′er•o•mor`phy, n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
According to Tinn & Meidla (2003), the A-3 stage in early Middle Ordovician ctenonotellids (Brezelina paimata) and tetradellids (Ogmoopsis bocki) marks the first appearance of dimorphic admarginal structures (distinction of pre-adult heteromorphs possible for the first time).
More heavily calcified bryozoans, however, do not fare well in lower-pH waters: Schizoporella errata showed skeletal corrosion and less investment in defensive heteromorphs (Lombardi et al., 2011a), and the larger Mediterranean bryozoan Myriapora truncata showed dissolution and lowered Mg in skeletal calcite under elevated pC[O.sub.2] (Lombardi et al., 2011b).
Similarly, when sexually mature damselfly (Enallagma civile) males were exposed only to andromorphic females, they were significantly more likely to initiate mating behaviors with other andromorphs compared to heteromorphs (Miller and Fincke, 1999).