The smallest unit of meaning of a language, which cannot be divided into smaller parts carrying meaning; it is usually smaller than a single wordform, such as the -ed morpheme of verbs in the past tense or the -s morpheme of nouns in the plural form.
The smallest grammatical unit. Words are built up of morphemes: e.g. cats = one free morpheme, cat, + one bound morpheme Keep this idea separate from syllable, word, and phoneme.
The minimal distinctive unit in grammar; the smallest functioning unit in the composition of words. Example: `names' consists of the free morpheme `name' and the bound plural morpheme `s'.