[ met-uh-mawr-fik ]
/ ˌmɛt əˈmɔr fɪk /


pertaining to or characterized by change of form, or metamorphosis.
Geology. pertaining to or exhibiting structural change or metamorphism.

Origin of metamorphic

First recorded in 1810–20; meta- + -morphic

OTHER WORDS FROM metamorphic

non·met·a·mor·phic, adjectivepre·met·a·mor·phic, adjectiveun·met·a·mor·phic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for metamorphic

British Dictionary definitions for metamorphic



/ (ˌmɛtəˈmɔːfɪk) /


relating to or resulting from metamorphosis or metamorphism
(of rocks) altered considerably from their original structure and mineralogy by pressure and heatCompare igneous, sedimentary
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for metamorphic

[ mĕt′ə-môrfĭk ]

Zoology Relating to metamorphosis.
Geology Relating to rocks that have undergone metamorphism. Metamorphic rocks are formed when igneous, sedimentary, or other metamorphic rocks undergo a physical change due to extreme heat and pressure. These changes often produce folded layers or banding in the rocks, and they can also cause pockets of precious minerals to form. The folds and banding can be produced by incomplete segregation of minerals during recrystallization, or they can be inherited from preexisting beds in sedimentary rocks or preexisting layers in igneous rocks. The precious minerals can form as the result of recrystallization when the rocks undergoing metamorphism are subjected to changes in pressure and temperature.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.