Simple Definition of metamorphosis
: 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
Full Definition of metamorphosisplural
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 in a sentence
We have watched her metamorphosis from a shy schoolgirl into a self-confident businesswoman.
a company that has gone through a series of metamorphoses
The government has undergone political metamorphosis since his election.
the metamorphosis of tadpoles into frogs
The class learned about how caterpillars undergo metamorphosis to become butterflies.
Did You Know?
Many ancient myths end in a metamorphosis. As Apollo is chasing the nymph Daphne, she calls on her river-god father for help and he turns her into a laurel tree to save her. Out of anger and jealousy, the goddess Athena turns the marvelous weaver Arachne into a spider that will spin only beautiful webs. But natural substances may also metamorphose, or undergo metamorphosis. Heat and pressure over thousands of years may eventually turn tiny organisms into petroleum, and coal into diamonds. And the most beloved of natural metamorphoses (notice how this plural is formed) is probably the transformation of caterpillars into butterflies.
Origin and Etymology of metamorphosis
Latin, from Greek metamorphōsis, from metamorphoun to transform, from meta- + morphē form
First Known Use: 1533
METAMORPHOSIS Defined for Kids
Definition of metamorphosis for Students
1 : a great change in appearance or character
2 : the process of great and usually rather sudden change in the form and habits of some animals during transformation from an immature stage (as a caterpillar) to an adult stage (as a butterfly)
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
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