- 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.
Also especially British, me·tas·ta·sise.
Origin of metastasize
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Related Wordspermeate, drain, clean, leak, winnow, sift, refine, percolate, penetrate, trickle, dribble, clarify, screen, purify, distill, strain, ooze, escape, sieve, exude
Examples from the Web for metastasize
When politicians use ethnic mobilization to promote their agendas, violence can metastasize quickly.George Clooney on How to Stop An Inferno in South Sudan
George Clooney, John Prendergast
December 20, 2013
What starts out as Casual Friday must metastasize eventually into Slumming Sunday.Our Sweatpants Nightmare
January 17, 2010
- 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 metastasize
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- 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.
- A cancerous tumor formed by transmission of malignant cells from a primary cancer located elsewhere in the body.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.