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

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to undergo metamorphosis
: to become transformed
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

Example Sentences

a science fiction story in which radiation metamorphoses people into giant bugs
Recent Examples on the Web Founders have to convince investors that, with time and dollars, their companies will metamorphose into fat, pearly unicorns. Manvir Singh, Wired, 14 July 2022 His obsessive way of covering every surface with his glyphs, transforming them into something else, is actually very similar to my obsession to metamorphose, to modify and mutate. Tiziana Cardini, Vogue, 7 June 2022 After breeding, the adults move upland again, leaving their eggs to hatch into larvae, who metamorphose either quickly or slowly depending on the speed at which their pool is drying up. Carolyn Wells, Longreads, 24 Mar. 2022 Even the humblest workout accessories can metamorphose into luxuries: For about $3,000, fashionistas can tone up with Louis Vuitton hand weights — crafted of lustrous metal and engraved with the LV logo. Rhonda K. Garelick, Washington Post, 17 Nov. 2021 Its slow development not only leaves it unable to metamorphose but may also prevent adult salamanders from regenerating limbs, a cruel irony. Douglas Fox, Scientific American, 1 Feb. 2022 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 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1576, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of metamorphose was in 1576

Dictionary Entries Near metamorphose

Cite this Entry

“Metamorphose.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition


meta·​mor·​phose ˌmet-ə-ˈmȯr-ˌfōz How to pronounce metamorphose (audio)
metamorphosed; metamorphosing
: to change or cause to change in form : go through metamorphosis

Medical Definition


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

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