[ muh-tas-tuh-sis ]
/ məˈtæs tə sɪs /
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noun, plural me·tas·ta·ses [muh-tas-tuh-seez]. /məˈtæs təˌsiz/.
  1. the transference of disease-producing organisms or of malignant or cancerous cells to other parts of the body by way of the blood or lymphatic vessels or membranous surfaces.
  2. the condition produced by this.
Rhetoric. a rapid transition, as from one subject to another.
Physics. a change in position or orbit of an elementary particle.
In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.
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Origin of metastasis

First recorded in 1580–90, metastasis is from the Greek word metástasis “a changing”; see meta-, stasis


met·a·stat·ic [met-uh-stat-ik], /ˌmɛt əˈstæt ɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use metastasis in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for metastasis

/ (mɪˈtæstəsɪs) /

noun plural -ses (-ˌsiːz)
pathol the spreading of a disease, esp cancer cells, from one part of the body to another
a transformation or change, as in rhetoric, from one point to another
a rare word for metabolism

Derived forms of metastasis

metastatic (ˌmɛtəˈstætɪk), adjectivemetastatically, adverb

Word Origin for metastasis

C16: via Latin from Greek: transition
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

Medical definitions for metastasis

[ mə-tăstə-sĭs ]

n. pl. me•tas•ta•ses (-sēz′)
Transmission of pathogenic microorganisms or cancerous cells from an original site to one or more sites elsewhere in the body, usually by way of the blood vessels or lymphatics.
A secondary cancerous growth formed by transmission of cancerous cells from a primary growth located elsewhere in the body.

Other words from metastasis

met′a•static (mĕt′ə-stătĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for metastasis

[ mə-tăstə-sĭs ]

A cancerous tumor formed by transmission of malignant cells from a primary cancer located elsewhere in the body.

Other words from metastasis

metastasize verb
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.