[ muh-tas-tuh-sahyz ]
/ məˈtæs təˌsaɪz /

verb (used without object), me·tas·ta·sized, me·tas·ta·siz·ing.

Pathology. (of malignant cells or disease-producing organisms) to spread to other parts of the body by way of the blood or lymphatic vessels or membranous surfaces.
to spread injuriously: Street gangs have metastasized in our city.
to transform, especially into a dangerous form: The KGB metastasized after the fall of the Soviet Union. Truth metastasized into lurid fantasy.

Nearby words

  1. metasomatism,
  2. metastable,
  3. metastasio,
  4. metastasis,
  5. metastasise,
  6. metastatic abscess,
  7. metastatic calcification,
  8. metatag,
  9. metatarsal,
  10. metatarsal arch

Also especially British, me·tas·ta·sise.

Origin of metastasize

First recorded in 1905–10; metastas(is) + -ize Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for metastasised



/ (mɪˈtæstəˌsaɪz) /

verb (intr)

pathol (esp of cancer cells) to spread to a new site in the body via blood or lymph vessels
(of a problem) to deteriorate or spread into new areas
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 metastasised


1826, from metastasis + -ize. Related: Metastasized; metastasizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for metastasised


[ mə-tăstə-sīz′ ]


To be transmitted or transferred by or as if by metastasis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.