Can you believe this is the 12th #morphememoday!?!


Thank you for joining me on my morpheme movement! The importance of explicitly teaching morphology is missing from the majority of today’s classrooms. This week we will be focusing on the Greek combining form that is often taught as a prefix <poly>, the Latin root <ject> and the Old English suffix <dom>.

Origin: Greek

Definition: many, more than one

Examples: polydactyl, polyclinic, polypharmacy, polysyllabic, polytheism, polydemic

<poly> + <graph> = polygraph

<poly> + <math> = polymath

<poly> + <chrome> = polychrome

<poly> + <nom> + <ial> = polynomial

<poly> + <morph> + <ic> = polymorphic

<poly> + <pod> = polypod

  • Technically speaking, <poly> is a Greek combining form but it is often taught as a prefix.Some examples of words where it is nor found at the beginning of the word are monopolize and duopoly.
  • The best way to introduce <poly> is in the context of geometry. It is a great morpheme to teach while discussing the different shapes such as a polygon or polyhedron. At this point, you can mention how <poly> is a Greek morpheme meaning many. You can ask the student about other morphemes found in the different names of shapes such as quad, tri, and hex.



Origin: Latin

Definition: to throw or lie

Examples: ejection, interject, subject, introject, projection, objectively

<inter> + <ject> + <ion> = interjection

<de> + <ject> + <ed> + <ness> = dejectedness

<pro> + <ject> + <ion> + <ist> = projectionist

<con> + <ject> + <ure> = conjecture

<in> + <ject> + <ion> = injection

<re> + <ject> = reject

  • The root <ject> has an allomorphs (or alternative forms) <jac> as in adjacent
  • This root is best taught to students who have a good repertoire of some of the more common roots. These student will likely be in the higher elementary grades or in high school.


Origin: Old English

Definition: state or condition

Examples: martyrdom, newspaperdom, officialdom, heirdom, sheikdom, wisdom

<free> + <dom> = freedom

<star> + <dom> = stardom

<pope> + <dom> = popedome

<king> + <dom> = kingdom

<pagan> + <dom> = pagandom

<earl> + <dom> = earldom

  • This suffix is not one that should be a high priority for students out of context.
  • This suffix could be taught in context during history lessons or when reading literature about medieval times as there are many terms refer to during this time period that contains the suffix <dom> such as earldom, kingdom, dukedom, etc…


Last week, September 23, 2019, the morphemes were the prefix <semi>, the root <phobia> and the suffix <er>.

Next week, October 7, 2019, the morphemes will be the prefix <dys>, the root <lex> and the suffix <ia>.

Be sure to check out more graphics for these morphemes on our Facebook, InstagramPinterest, and Twitter pages.

If there is anything we can do or post to help you learn more about the importance of morphological awareness (or any other topic for that matter) please send an email to


Morpheme Monday: July 8, 2019

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