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metamorphism

[met-uh-mawr-fiz-uh m]
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noun
  1. Geology. a change in the structure or constitution of a rock due to natural agencies, as pressure and heat, especially when the rock becomes harder and more completely crystalline.
  2. Archaic. metamorphosis.
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Origin of metamorphism

First recorded in 1835–45; meta- + -morphism
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for metamorphism

Historical Examples

  • Nor is the metamorphism of the invaded rock limited to simple intrusion.

    The Andes of Southern Peru

    Isaiah Bowman

  • A common cause of the metamorphism of rocks is the intrusion into them of igneous rocks.

    Geology

    William J. Miller

  • This state of things is called general, or normal, metamorphism.

  • The birthplace of a large variety of ores and minerals is in the zone of metamorphism.

    North America

    Israel C. Russell

  • How is metamorphism on the large scale supposed to have been induced?

    Geology

    James Geikie


British Dictionary definitions for metamorphism

metamorphism

noun
  1. the process by which metamorphic rocks are formed
  2. a variant of metamorphosis
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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

Word Origin and History for metamorphism

n.

1837, from metamorphic + -ism.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

metamorphism in Science

metamorphism

[mĕt′ə-môrfĭz′əm]
  1. The process by which rocks are changed in composition, texture, or structure by extreme heat and pressure.♦ In prograde metamorphism metamorphic rocks that were formed under low pressure and temperature conditions undergo a second metamorphic event in which they are exposed to higher pressures and temperatures.♦ In retrograde metamorphism metamorphic rocks that were formed under high pressure and temperature conditions undergo a second metamorphic event in which they are exposed to lower pressures and temperatures. See more at contact metamorphism regional metamorphism.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.