metamorphosis


meta·mor·pho·sis

noun \ˌme-tə-ˈmr-fə-səs\

: a major change in the appearance or character of someone or something

biology : a major change in the form or structure of some animals or insects that happens as the animal or insect becomes an adult

plural meta·mor·pho·ses\-ˌsēz\

Full Definition of METAMORPHOSIS

1
a :  change of physical form, structure, or substance especially by supernatural means
b :  a striking alteration in appearance, character, or circumstances
2
:  a typically marked and more or less abrupt developmental change in the form or structure of an animal (as a butterfly or a frog) occurring subsequent to birth or hatching

Examples of METAMORPHOSIS

  1. We have watched her metamorphosis from a shy schoolgirl into a self-confident businesswoman.
  2. a company that has gone through a series of metamorphoses
  3. The government has undergone political metamorphosis since his election.
  4. the metamorphosis of tadpoles into frogs
  5. The class learned about how caterpillars undergo metamorphosis to become butterflies.

Origin of METAMORPHOSIS

Latin, from Greek metamorphōsis, from metamorphoun to transform, from meta- + morphē form
First Known Use: 1533

Other Insect Terms

drone, entomology, gadfly, pismire, proboscis, vespine

meta·mor·pho·sis

noun \ˌmet-ə-ˈmr-fə-səs\   (Medical Dictionary)
plural meta·mor·pho·ses \-ˌsēz\

Medical Definition of METAMORPHOSIS

1
: change of physical form, structure, or substance
2
: a marked and more or less abrupt developmental change in the form or structure of an animal (as a butterfly or a frog) occurring subsequent to birth or hatching

metamorphosis

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In biology, any striking developmental change of an animal's form or structure, accompanied by physiological, biochemical, and behavioral changes. The best-known examples occur among insects, which may exhibit complete or incomplete metamorphosis (see nymph). The complete metamorphosis of butterflies, moths, and some other insects involves four stages: egg, larva (caterpillar), pupa (chrysalis or cocoon), and adult. The change from tadpole to frog is an example of metamorphosis among amphibians; some echinoderms, crustaceans, mollusks, and tunicates also undergo metamorphosis.

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