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 Nonetheless, those looking to simply improve their level of fitness while spending time in the great outdoors need not feel obligated to metamorphose into social butterflies. cleveland, 29 May 2021 The tile installation will metamorphose from a cocoon into a butterfly over a period of months to symbolize the neighborhood’s ongoing transformation. Martin Kuz, The Christian Science Monitor, 19 May 2021 The front lawn, meanwhile, will metamorphose into one of the world’s most glamorous outdoor lounges for artists to schmooze (at a distance) and pose for the cameras. Anna Fixsen, ELLE Decor, 20 Apr. 2021 But over very long durations, particularly with many layers of rock atop it, that sedimentary rock will begin to metamorphose, or change its chemical makeup. Ethan Siegel, Forbes, 7 Apr. 2021 Power was increased, but the Riviera had clearly begun to metamorphose from a grand tourer into a luxo barge. Csaba Csere, Car and Driver, 23 Feb. 2021 The most aggressive caterpillars were the oldest ones, which were almost ready to metamorphose into butterflies. Washington Post, 22 Dec. 2020 Cicadas can take 17 years to metamorphose into adulthood, spending most of that time underground. Liz Langley, National Geographic, 11 Aug. 2020 But when protests over the killing of an unarmed black man by police metamorphose into an inchoate revolutionary movement, the original object of righteous indignation has a curious way of fading from view. Matthew Walther, TheWeek, 2 July 2020

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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Time Traveler for metamorphose

Time Traveler

The first known use of metamorphose was in 1576

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Cite this Entry

“Metamorphose.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for metamorphose



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

Nglish: Translation of metamorphose for Spanish Speakers


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