Words related to poly-

*pele- (1)
*pelə-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to fill," with derivatives referring to abundance and multitude.

It forms all or part of: accomplish; complete; compliment; comply; depletion; expletive; fele; fill; folk; full (adj.); gefilte fish; hoi polloi; implement; manipulation; nonplus; plebe; plebeian; plebiscite; pleiotropy; Pleistocene; plenary; plenitude; plenty; plenum; plenipotentiary; pleo-; pleonasm; plethora; Pliocene; pluperfect; plural; pluri-; plus; Pollux; poly-; polyamorous; polyandrous; polyclinic; polydactyl; polydipsia; Polydorus; polyethylene; polyglot; polygon; polygraph; polygyny; polyhedron; polyhistor; polymath; polymer; polymorphous; Polynesia; polyp; Polyphemus; polyphony; polysemy; polysyllabic; polytheism; replenish; replete; supply; surplus; volkslied.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit purvi "much," prayah "mostly;" Avestan perena-, Old Persian paru "much;" Greek polys "much, many," plethos "people, multitude, great number," ploutos "wealth;" Latin plus "more," plenus "full;" Lithuanian pilus "full, abundant;" Old Church Slavonic plunu; Gothic filu "much," Old Norse fjöl-, Old English fela, feola "much, many;" Old English folgian; Old Irish lan, Welsh llawn "full;" Old Irish il, Welsh elu "much."

before vowels mult-, word-forming element meaning "many, many times, much," from combining form of Latin multus "much, many," from PIE *ml-to-, from root *mel- (2) "strong, great, numerous." It was much-used in forming Latin compounds in classical times and after (such as multianimis "having much courage," multibibus "much-drinking," multicomus "having much hair," multiloquus "talkative"). Many English words that use it (multinational, etc.) are 20c. coinages.

polymer (n.)

a substance built from a large number of simple molecules of the same kind, 1855, probably from German Polymere (Berzelius, 1830), from Greek polymeres "having many parts," from polys "many" (from PIE root *pele- (1) "to fill") + meros "part" (from PIE root *(s)mer- (2) "to get a share of something").

monopolylogue (n.)

"entertainment in which one actor performs as many characters," by 1824; see mono- "one, single" + poly- "many" + -logue.

plus (n., adj.)

1570s, the oral rendering of the arithmetical sign +, also "more by a certain amount" (correlative to minus), from Latin plus "more, in greater number, more often" (comparative of multus "much"), altered (by influence of minus) from *pleos, from PIE root *pele- (1) "to fill" (see poly-).  The plus sign itself has been well-known at least since late 15c. and is perhaps an abbreviation of Latin et (see et cetera).

As a preposition, between two numbers to indicate addition, from 1660s. [Barnhart writes that this sense "did not exist in Latin and probably originated in commercial language of the Middle Ages;" OED writes that "the words plus and minus were used by Leonardo of Pisa in 1202."] Placed after a whole number to indicate "and a little more," it is attested by 1902. As a conjunction, "and, and in addition," it is American English colloquial, attested by 1968. As a noun meaning "an advantage" from 1791. Plus fours "distinctive style of long, wide knickerbockers" (1921) were four inches longer in the leg than standard knickerbockers, to produce an overhang, originally a style associated with golfers.


word-forming element, Latin -plus "-fold." Watkins derives it from *-plo-, combining form of PIE root *pel- (2) "to fold" and makes it cognate with Old English -feald, Greek -paltos, -plos. But de Vaan connects it to PIE root *pele- (1) that yielded words meaning "much, many, more" and is the source of poly-.

polyaesthesia (n.)

"production, by stimulation of a single point on the skin, of a sensation as if two or more points were stimulated," especially as observed in tabes dorsualis, 1888, Modern Latin, from Greek poly- "many" (see poly-) + aisthēsis "feeling" (from PIE root *au- "to perceive").

polyamorous (adj.)

"desiring or having consensual intimate relations with more than one partner," by 1972, from poly- + amorous. Related: Polyamory.

polyandria (n.)

1751 in botany, in reference to a class of flowers having 20 or more stamens; 1809 of human relationships (implied in polyandrian), from poly- "many" andr-, stem of aner "man, husband" (from PIE root *ner- (2) "man"), which is used in botany to mean "stamen, having stamens," + -ia "condition of." Late Greek polyandria meant "populousness," a polyandrion was "place where many assemble." Related: Polyandric.

polyandrous (adj.)

1764, in botany, "having numerous stamens," from poly- "much, many" + stem of aner "man, husband" (from PIE root *ner- (2) "man"), which is used in botany to mean "stamen, having stamens." From 1854 of humans, "having more than one husband at once." Greek polyandros meant "numerous" (of persons), "populous" (of places); polyanor meant "of many husbands." Related: Polyandrist "woman who has several husbands at once" (1833).