meta·​mor·​phose | \ ˌme-tə-ˈmȯr-ˌfōz How to pronounce metamorphose (audio) , -ˌfōs\
metamorphosed; metamorphosing

Definition of metamorphose

transitive verb

1a : to change into a different physical form especially by supernatural means
b : to change strikingly the appearance or character of : transform
2 : to cause (rock) to undergo metamorphism

intransitive verb

1 : to undergo metamorphosis
2 : to become transformed

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Choose the Right Synonym for metamorphose

transform, metamorphose, transmute, convert, transmogrify, transfigure mean to change a thing into a different thing. transform implies a major change in form, nature, or function. transformed a small company into a corporate giant metamorphose suggests an abrupt or startling change induced by or as if by magic or a supernatural power. awkward girls metamorphosed into graceful ballerinas transmute implies transforming into a higher element or thing. attempted to transmute lead into gold convert implies a change fitting something for a new or different use or function. converted the study into a nursery transmogrify suggests a strange or preposterous metamorphosis. a story in which a frog is transmogrified into a prince transfigure implies a change that exalts or glorifies. joy transfigured her face

Examples of metamorphose in a Sentence

a science fiction story in which radiation metamorphoses people into giant bugs
Recent Examples on the Web Phoenix, who lost 50 pounds for the role, takes several opportunities to show us Arthur’s bony backside: There hasn’t been such a disturbing physique since Jeff Goldblum started metamorphosing into a fly. Tom Gliatto,, "Joker Review: Joaquin Phoenix Isn't Clowning Around as the Terrifying Batman Villain," 2 Oct. 2019 But the underlying principle—that mass shootings should be covered more responsibly by news outlets—has metamorphosed into a damnatio memoriae approach towards those who commit them. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "It’s OK to Talk About Mass Shooters," 5 Aug. 2019 What clarifies more slowly is that Cheryl is likewise metamorphosing. Brad Leithauser, WSJ, "‘Clock Dance’ Review: The Family Maker," 6 July 2018 The city’s geological stratigraphy has been repeatedly convulsed, metamorphosed under spectacular pressures. Greg Woolf, WSJ, "‘Rome: A History in Seven Sackings’ Review: The City That Survived," 29 June 2018 In the century since Osborn’s announcement, T. rex has continued to metamorphose. Brian Switek, Smithsonian, "How We Elected T. rex to be Our Tyrant Lizard King," 21 June 2018 Russia’s World Cup soccer team, metamorphosed from national laughingstock to heroes of the motherland in less than a week. Washington Post, "Russian fans celebrate once-maligned team as heroes," 19 June 2018 Russia's World Cup soccer team, metamorphosed from national laughingstock to heroes of the motherland in less than a week. Fox News, "Russian fans celebrate once-maligned team as heroes," 19 June 2018 But two weeks in late June could metamorphose abstraction into reality. Chad Pergram, Fox News, "Farm bill, immigration redux, Ryan's potential ouster, like a Shakespeare 'play within a play'," 26 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'metamorphose.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of metamorphose

1576, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for metamorphose

probably from Middle French metamorphoser, from metamorphose metamorphosis, from Latin metamorphosis

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Statistics for metamorphose

Last Updated

11 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for metamorphose

The first known use of metamorphose was in 1576

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More Definitions for metamorphose


How to pronounce metamorphose (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of metamorphose

: to change in an important and obvious way into something that is very different : to undergo metamorphosis


intransitive verb
meta·​mor·​phose | \ -ˌfōz, -ˌfōs How to pronounce metamorphose (audio) \
metamorphosed; metamorphosing

Medical Definition of metamorphose

: to undergo metamorphosis

More from Merriam-Webster on metamorphose

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for metamorphose

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with metamorphose

Nglish: Translation of metamorphose for Spanish Speakers

Comments on metamorphose

What made you want to look up metamorphose? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to engage in dissolute behavior

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