Advertisement - Continue reading below

Definition of "polysynthetic" [pol•y•syn•thet•ic]

  • 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. (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "polysynthetic" in a sentence
  • "Africa, speak a polysynthetic language, and _per contra_, that the Otomis of Mexico have a monosyllabic one like the Chinese."
  • "The languages of the Huron-Iroquois family belong to what has been termed the polysynthetic class, and are distinguished, even in that class, by a more than ordinary endowment of that variety of forms and fullness of expression for which languages of that type are noted."
  • "Paonese was of that type known as "polysynthetic," with root words taking on prefixes, affixes and postpositions to extend their meaning."