ge·stalt or Ge·stalt (gə-shtält, -shtôlt, -stält, -stôlt)
n. pl. ge·stalts or ge·stalt·en (-shtältn, -shtôltn, -stältn, -stôltn) or Ge·stalts or Ge·stalt·en
A physical, biological, psychological, or symbolic configuration or pattern of elements so unified as a whole that its properties cannot be derived from a simple summation of its parts.
[German, shape, from Middle High German, from past participle of stellen, to place, from Old High German; see stel- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.