From the suffixation of the French -mère and its etymon the Ancient Greek -μερής (-merēs) (“having (the specified number of) parts”, “sharing”: the combining form of μέρος (meros, “part”)) with the English -ous; compare the English -mer and -mere, as well as the French -mère and the German -mer.
- (biology, forming adjectives) Having parts of the specified quality.
- (chiefly botany and zoology, forming adjectives) Comprising the specified number of parts.
- In biological descriptions, it is common to use numbers instead the Greek prefixes.
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