Divided into several (usually three or more) groups or subsets; (in later use) involving or relating to a categorical variable that can take any of three or more values. rare before 20th cent.
Of physical structures.
3Of diagrams and mental constructs.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in William S. Hamilton (1788–1856), philosopher. From poly- + ancient Greek -τόμος + -ous.