From the suffixation of the French -mère and its etymon the Ancient Greek -μερής (-merḗs) (“having (the specified number of) parts”, “sharing”: the combining form of μέρος (méros, “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.
- “-merous” listed in the Oxford English Dictionary (second edition, 1989)
- “-merous, comb. form” listed in the Oxford English Dictionary (draft revision, June 2010)