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From French métamorphoser, from Old French metamorphose, from Latin metamorphōsis; see metamorphosis.



metamorphose (third-person singular simple present metamorphoses, present participle metamorphosing, simple past and past participle metamorphosed)

  1. (of a moth or insect, intransitive) To undergo metamorphosis.
  2. (by extension, intransitive) To undergo some transformation.
    • 1936, William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!:
      In fact, perhaps this is the pure and perfect incest: the brother realising that the sister’s virginity must be destroyed in order to have existed at all, taking that virginity in the person of the brother-in-law, the man whom he would be if he could become, metamorphose into, the lover, the husband; by whom he would be despoiled, choose for despoiler, if the could become, metamorphose into the sister, the mistress, the bride.
    • 1995, Ian Robottom; Hart Paul, “Behaviorist EE Research: Environmentalism as Individualism”, in The Journal of Environmental Education[1], volume 26, number 2, DOI:10.1080/00958964.1995.9941433, page 8:
      Environmental problems are not objectively existing physical phenomena amenable to reliable analysis and diagnosis. They are social constructions whose meaning and significance metamorphose and wax and wane according to changeable human interest.
    • 1995 January 1, Cullen Murphy, “In Praise of Snow”, in The Atlantic[2]:
      In fresh snow air can pass with little obstruction from the atmosphere through the snowpack to the ground: given life by differences in the temperature gradient, the snowpack breathes. But time changes that. The snow may metamorphose into what is called equitemperature, or ET, snow.
  3. (transitive) To transform (something) so that it has a completely different appearance.


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metamorphose f (plural metamorphoses)

  1. Obsolete spelling of metamorfose (used in Portugal until September 1911 and in Brazil until the 1940s).