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- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˌmɛtəˈmɔːfəsɪs/, /ˌmɛtəmɔːˈfəʊsɪs/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˌmɛɾəˈmɔɹfəsɪs/
- (one pronunciation) Rhymes: -əʊsɪs
- Hyphenation: met‧a‧mor‧pho‧sis
- A transformation, such as one performed by magic.
- 1626 May 1, James Howell, “XXVIII. To Mr. R. L. Merchant.”, in Epistolæ Ho-Elianæ. Familiar Letters Domestic and Forren. […], volume I, 3rd edition, London: […] Humphrey Mos[e]ley, […], published 1655, OCLC 84295516, section IV, page 179:
- I wonder’d at ſuch a Metamorphoſis in ſo ſhort a time, he told me, ’twas for the death of his Wife, that Nature had thus antedated his Years ; ’tis true, that a weighty ſetled ſorrow is of that force, that beſides the contraction of the Spirits, it will work upon the radical moiſture, and dry it up, ſo that the Hair can have no moiſture at the Root.
- 1868, Robert Browning, “The Pope”, in Charlotte Porter and Helen A. Clarke, editor, The Ring and the Book, volume II, New York: T. Y. Crowell & Co., published 1898, lines 1610–3, page 212:
- Where is the gloriously-decisive change, / Metamorphosis the immeasurable / Of human clay to divine gold, we looked / Should, in some poor sort, justify its price ?
- A noticeable change in character, appearance, function or condition.
- (biology) A change in the form and often habits of an animal after the embryonic stage during normal development. (e.g. the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly or a tadpole into a frog.)
- (pathology) A change in the structure of a specific body tissue. Usually degenerative.