Prefixes are key morphemes in English vocabulary that begin words. Today we will polish up your understanding of the Greek prefix **poly-**, which will help you learn “many” English words!

Math, especially the mathematics of geometry, uses a fair number of terms with the prefix **poly-** in them, which means “many.” For instance, a **poly**gon is a two-dimensional figure which has “many” sides and angles. A pentagon, for instance, is a **poly**gon that has five sides and five angles. A **poly**hedron is a three-dimensional figure with “many” flat faces and edges, such as a cube or pyramid. A mathematical **poly**nomial has “many” terms, such as variables, constants, and exponents which are combined using addition, subtraction, and multiplication. Perhaps only a **poly**math, or one who knows “many” things, could understand all the ins and outs of **poly**nomials!

Linguists as well like to use the prefix **poly-**, which means “many.” For instance, a **poly**syllabic word has “many” syllables, such as the 19-syllable word pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, widely regarded as the longest word in the English language. A **poly**glot is someone who speaks “many” languages, in contrast to a monoglot, who only speaks one.

Greek mythology was into **poly**theism, or the worship of “many” gods, such as Zeus, Athena, Poseidon, and Demeter. Some cultures accept **poly**gamy, when one person is legally married to “many” mates. And someone who loves **Poly**nesia gets to visit “many” islands!

Enough of the “many” words that contain the key English prefix **poly-**! Now you know what would be meant by the expression “Polly wants polycrackers!”

**polygon**: a two-dimensional figure that has ‘many’ sides and angles**polyhedron**: a three-dimensional figure that has ‘many’ faces and edges**polynomial**: a mathematical expression with ‘many’ terms**polymath**: person who knows ‘many’ things**polysyllabic**: containing ‘many’ syllables**polyglot**: person who speaks ‘many’ languages**polytheism**: the worship of ‘many’ gods**polygamy**: the marriage practice of having ‘many’ mates**Polynesia**: geographical area which has ‘many’ islands