[ met-uh-plaz-uhm ]

  1. Cell Biology. the nonliving matter or inclusions, as starch or pigments, within a cell.

  2. Grammar.

    • a change in the structure of a word or sentence made by adding, removing, or transposing the sounds or words of which it is composed or the letters that represent them.

    • the formation of oblique cases from a stem other than that of the nominative.

Origin of metaplasm

1375–1425; late Middle English metaplasmus “grammatical change, irregularity” <Latin <Greek metaplasmós “reforming, remodeling,” derivative of metaplássein “to mold differently, remodel.” See meta-, -plasm

Other words from metaplasm

  • met·a·plas·mic, adjective

Words Nearby metaplasm Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use metaplasm in a sentence

  • Each metaplasm in the body favors the inactive break-up of protoplasm, and so also the formation of new metaplasms.

    The Wonders of Life | Ernst Haeckel

British Dictionary definitions for metaplasm


/ (ˈmɛtəˌplæzəm) /

  1. the nonliving constituents, such as starch and pigment granules, of the cytoplasm of a cell

Derived forms of metaplasm

  • metaplasmic, adjective

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