Definition of metamorphic in US English:



  • 1Geology
    Denoting or relating to rock that has undergone transformation by heat, pressure, or other natural agencies, e.g. in the folding of strata or the nearby intrusion of igneous rocks.

    • ‘Most of these are on igneous and metamorphic rock to minimize groundwater losses.’
    • ‘The contacts between the complex and the Archaean metamorphic rocks are intrusive.’
    • ‘Corundum occurs as an accessory mineral in some metamorphic rocks, such as mica schist, gneiss, and crystalline limestone.’
    • ‘The basement of the Precordillera and Chilenia terranes are Grenville-age igneous and metamorphic rocks.’
    • ‘Paleoproterozoic igneous and metamorphic rocks along with Paleozoic sedimentary rocks make up the basement complex of the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado.’
  • 2Of or marked by metamorphosis.

    ‘the shift from dead stillness to hurricane-force winds was as metamorphic as Jekyll to Hyde’
    • ‘What makes him cool is his metamorphic properties.’
    • ‘The actor's metamorphic performance, meanwhile, took on the concept of acting itself.’
    • ‘Pune's metamorphic rise should enthuse other Governments to compete with it.’
    • ‘Like his metamorphic music, Stochansky's own life is abound with steady shifts and controlled chaos.’
    • ‘Her nose was buried so deeply into a book on metamorphic abilities; she did not hear the knock at the large cedar double doors, which led into the library from the great hall.’
    • ‘Carl was born in the Netherlands in 1898 and died in 1972, but his distorted, repetitive and metamorphic artwork continues to inspire people and fascinated the pupils.’
    • ‘In Julie's case, she will be able to combine both her love for the metamorphic technique with her farming role.’
    • ‘As reported earlier, there is a sect among the spider group that has metamorphic ability.’
    • ‘Her biomorphic forms are more metamorphic, suggesting growth and regeneration, as well as body metaphors.’
    • ‘However, a little-known, non-invasive practice called the metamorphic technique can be learned in just a few hours, and is a valuable skill for life.’


Early 19th century: from meta- (denoting a change of condition) + Greek morphē ‘form’ + -ic.