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1894 in biological sense “repetition of parts in living things;” earlier in rhetoric, “synecdoche in which totality is expressed by contrasting parts” (e.g. high and low, young and old); from Modern Latin merismus, from Greek merismos “a dividing, division, a partition,” from merizein “to divide,” from meros “part, share” (see merit (n.)). Related: Merismatic.


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  • Meristem

    [mer-uh-stem] /ˈmɛr əˌstɛm/ noun, Botany. 1. embryonic tissue in plants; undifferentiated, growing, actively dividing cells. /ˈmɛrɪˌstɛm/ noun 1. a plant tissue responsible for growth, whose cells divide and differentiate to form the tissues and organs of the plant. Meristems occur within the stem (see cambium) and leaves and at the tips of stems and roots […]

  • Meristematic

    [mer-uh-stuh-mat-ik] /ˌmɛr ə stəˈmæt ɪk/ adjective, Botany. 1. consisting of or having the properties of meristem. meristem (měr’ĭ-stěm’) Plant tissue whose cells actively divide to form new tissues that cause the plant to grow. The originally undifferentiated cells of the meristem can produce specialized cells to form the tissues of roots, leaves, and other plant […]

  • Meristic

    [muh-ris-tik] /məˈrɪs tɪk/ adjective, Biology. 1. of, relating to, or divided into segments or somites. /məˈrɪstɪk/ adjective (biology) 1. of or relating to the number of organs or parts in an animal or plant body: meristic variation 2. segmented: meristic worms

  • Merit

    [mer-it] /ˈmɛr ɪt/ noun 1. claim to respect and praise; excellence; worth. 2. something that deserves or justifies a reward or commendation; a commendable quality, act, etc.: The book’s only merit is its sincerity. 3. merits, the inherent rights and wrongs of a matter, as a lawsuit, unobscured by procedural details, technicalities, personal feelings, etc.: […]

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