Definition of metamorphosis in English:


Pronunciation: /ˌmɛtəˈmɔːfəsɪs//ˌmɛtəmɔːˈfəʊsɪs/


  • 1[mass noun] (in an insect or amphibian) the process of transformation from an immature form to an adult form in two or more distinct stages.

    ‘the persistence of the larval tail during metamorphosis’
    [count noun] ‘in insects with a complete metamorphosis the wings arise from thickenings of the epidermis’
    • ‘the larval forms of insects, but also of certain other creatures which undergo the process of metamorphosis in reaching the adult form.’
    • ‘All flies undergo complete metamorphosis with egg, larval, pupal, and adult stages in their development.’
    • ‘This is followed by a discussion of metamorphosis in insects and amphibians.’
    • ‘If sufficient stimuli are present, the physiological process of metamorphosis is initiated within the larvae.’
    • ‘During the final instar, the tissues within the larval cuticle change to those of the adult, a process known as metamorphosis.’
    1. 1.1A change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one.
      ‘his metamorphosis from presidential candidate to talk-show host’
      • ‘That, then, is the latest metamorphosis of ‘base football player’.’
      • ‘The credits went through a handful of metamorphoses before the show debuted in summer 2007.’
      • ‘The cast handle this metamorphosis excellently.’
      • ‘This metamorphosis has happened because while I'm happy to embrace country living I like it to be wrapped up in a duck-down duvet of urban comfort.’
      • ‘When it comes to national security, however, no one can say with assurance whether her metamorphosis is genuine.’
      • ‘Table 4 captures this metamorphosis in major party support in a different way.’
      • ‘Later, we see her in real terror as Namtar's metamorphosis takes hold and changes her very being.’
      • ‘This political metamorphosis is not the one chronicled this week by the mainstream press in both Mexico and the United States.’
      • ‘Moralising interpretations generally explained physical metamorphosis as the external manifestation of the bestial nature within.’
      • ‘The derision into which the Cult of the Supreme Being fell after the overthrow of the Jacobins did not discredit the theme, which underwent a series of conservative metamorphoses in the 19th century.’
      • ‘Poster proceeds to outline his own metamorphosis over nine chapters.’
      • ‘The twist is that this metamorphosis is emphasized by the fact that the young heroine, Ginger, is simultaneously becoming a werewolf.’
      • ‘After the second-half metamorphosis, it has suddenly become clear that there will be real competition for places come the summer.’
      • ‘In its metamorphosis from novella to film, it wisely maintains the convention of narration, but unwisely pushes it to the wayside.’
      • ‘So what kind of metamorphosis does the photograph as a form of animation effectuate?’
      • ‘Yet a slow but steady metamorphosis is taking place.’
      • ‘Although he has seemed to stay frozen in time, Bond has actually undergone a series of very subtle metamorphoses.’
      • ‘Larry, of course, has gotten a few laughs out of Laurie's metamorphosis.’
      • ‘A close examination of the fresco reveals a series of allusions to metamorphosis.’
      • ‘It uses the narrative as a way to investigate the notion of architectural metamorphosis and redemption, and it does so by means of powerful installation pieces.’
      transformation, mutation, transmutation, transfiguration, change, alteration, conversion, variation, modification, remodelling, restyling, reconstruction, reordering, reorganization, sea change
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Late Middle English: via Latin from Greek metamorphōsis, from metamorphoun transform, change shape.