me·​tas·​ta·​size mə-ˈta-stə-ˌsīz How to pronounce metastasize (audio)
metastasized; metastasizing

intransitive verb

: to spread or grow by or as if by metastasis
died of lung cancer which had metastasized throughout his bodyG. P. Elliott

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Jhené and Jamila know curiosity can quickly metastasize unless it’s pointed in the right direction. T.m. Brown, Billboard, 29 Dec. 2021 Cysts can metastasize to other regions of the body as well. Rebecca Kreston, Discover Magazine, 26 Jan. 2012 Breast cancers that metastasize to the brain are usually deadly, but a team based at the University of Mississippi Medical Center has discovered a possible fix: a tiny fragment of genetic material known as microRNA. Kat Mcgowan, Discover Magazine, 24 Jan. 2014 And mountainous national debt means any government can wind up in explosive financial crisis that could metastasize across Europe. Stefano Pitrelli, Washington Post, 25 Sep. 2022 As climate change worsens, water gets more scarce and the land becomes hotter, drier and harder to live upon, this discontent could very well metastasize into violence. Los Angeles Times, 28 Sep. 2022 Melanoma can commonly metastasize to the heart and cause cardiac complications and disease. Jenna Curcio, Allure, 8 Sep. 2022 Minor issues will bloom into major headaches; major issues will metastasize into expensive nightmares. Erik Shani, Forbes, 16 Aug. 2022 International leaders appear to be bracing for an extended period of conflict, warning on Friday that the global threats posed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could metastasize in the weeks and months ahead. Washington Post, 6 May 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1907, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of metastasize was in 1907

Dictionary Entries Near metastasize

Cite this Entry

“Metastasize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


me·​tas·​ta·​size mə-ˈtas-tə-ˌsīz How to pronounce metastasize (audio)
: to spread or grow by or as if by metastasis

Medical Definition


intransitive verb
variants also British metastasise
metastasized also British metastasised; metastasizing also British metastasising
: to spread by metastasis
… all ten were primary brain cancers; that is, they had originated in the brain, and not metastasized there from elsewhere in the body.Paul Brodeur, The New Yorker
metastasization noun
also British metastasisation
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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