One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Philosophy. The transferral of an argument from one subject, case, etc., to another of the same kind; an inference or connection based on (usually spurious) analogy.
2Medicine. A change in the signs, symptoms, or treatment of a disease. Compare metabole. Now historical or rare.
Mid 16th century (in an earlier sense). From ancient Greek μετάβασις transition, change from μετα- + βάσις, after μεταβαίνειν to pass from one state to another, to change one's place, to change the subject (in writing or speech).
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