- Biology. a profound change in form from one stage to the next in the life history of an organism, as from the caterpillar to the pupa and from the pupa to the adult butterfly.Compare complete metamorphosis.
- a complete change of form, structure, or substance, as transformation by magic or witchcraft.
- any complete change in appearance, character, circumstances, etc.
- a form resulting from any such change.
- a type of alteration or degeneration in which tissues are changed: fatty metamorphosis of the liver.
- the resultant form.
- Botany. the structural or functional modification of a plant organ or structure during its development.
Origin of metamorphosis
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- a short story (1915) by Franz Kafka.
Examples from the Web for metamorphosis
Metamorphosis is running at Lincoln Center, 63rd Street and 9th Avenue, until January 11, 2015.How the Circus Got a Social Conscience
November 7, 2014
He wanted a model to be able to produce his metamorphosis, which is why he showed her in so many different ways.Picasso's Greatest Muse
April 15, 2011
Here was this person who was having a renaissance or a metamorphosis and seemed really joyous.Requiem For a Transsexual Sportswriter
December 17, 2009
The theme of the spread is described in an oblique caption as “metamorphosis.”Back to Blackface?
October 14, 2009
It has been, for Dobbs, a Kafka-like metamorphosis from WASPy establishmentarian to angry-populist cockroach.What Happened to the Real Lou?
August 5, 2009
How to explain the metamorphosis seemed for a time a mystery.
The metamorphosis excites in the beholder an emotion of joy.Essays, Second Series
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Now the metamorphosis was reversed: need it be wondered if I were sad?The Confessions of Harry Lorrequer, Complete
Charles James Lever (1806-1872)
I was handsome, and my vanity was sensibly tickled by the metamorphosis.Clarimonde
We see “the metamorphosis of a practical object into an unpractical one.”The Clyde Mystery
- a complete change of physical form or substance
- a complete change of character, appearance, etc
- a person or thing that has undergone metamorphosis
- zoology the rapid transformation of a larva into an adult that occurs in certain animals, for example the stage between tadpole and frog or between chrysalis and butterfly
Word Origin and History for metamorphosis
1530s, "change of form or shape," especially by witchcraft, from Latin metamorphosis, from Greek metamorphosis "a transforming, a transformation," from metamorphoun "to transform, to be transfigured," from meta- "change" (see meta-) + morphe "form" (see Morpheus). Biological sense is from 1660s. As the title of Ovid's work, late 14c., Metamorphoseos, from Latin Metamorphoses (plural).
- A marked change in appearance, character, condition, or function.transformation
- A change in the form and often habits of an animal during normal development after the embryonic stage. Metamorphosis includes, in insects, the transformation of a maggot into an adult fly and a caterpillar into a butterfly and, in amphibians, the changing of a tadpole into a frog.
- A usually degenerative pathological change in the structure of a particular body tissue.
- Dramatic change in the form and often the habits of an animal during its development after birth or hatching. The transformation of a maggot into an adult fly and of a tadpole into an adult frog are examples of metamorphosis. The young of such animals are called larvae.
A change in an animal as it grows, particularly a radical change, such as the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly.