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

Definition of metastasize

intransitive verb

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

Examples of metastasize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web During the Taliban’s first reign in the 1990s, Hazaras were targeted and thousands were killed, only for that to continue and metastasize after the U.S. invasion in 2001 and the growth of ISIS-K in 2015. New York Times, 15 Oct. 2021 The hope is that it can be contained and doesn’t metastasize from there. Matt Sullivan, Rolling Stone, 8 Oct. 2021 Modern science still doesn't quite understand exactly how cancers metastasize, Nancy Lin, MD, a medical oncologist who specializes in breast cancer treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, tells Health. Jessie Van Amburg,, 15 Sep. 2021 Left unchecked, such trends metastasize into conflict, famine, yet more disease and democratic decline. Time, 13 Aug. 2021 That's because, as opposed to other common types of skin cancers, melanoma can invade nearby tissue and spread to other areas of the body (aka metastasize) like the lungs, liver, bone, or brain, the NCI says. Madison Yauger,, 8 June 2021 But the disruption could also metastasize, affecting the production of medical equipment and consumer appliances. Alex T. Williams, Star Tribune, 17 May 2021 Thus did Henry Villard’s discovery in the 19th century metastasize into a craze in the 21st. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 13 May 2021 But the roots of Trumpism have spread far and wide on the platform and will continue to grow and metastasize, with or without the former president playing an active role on the social media platform. Chris Cillizza, CNN, 5 May 2021

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.

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First Known Use of metastasize

1907, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of metastasize was in 1907

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Last Updated

20 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Metastasize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for metastasize


intransitive verb
variants: also British metastasise \ mə-​ˈtas-​tə-​ˌsīz How to pronounce metastasize (audio) \
metastasized also British metastasised; metastasizing also British metastasising

Medical Definition of metastasize

: 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, 9 July 1990

Other Words from metastasize

metastasization also British metastasisation \ mə-​ˌtas-​tə-​sə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce metastasize (audio) \ noun


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