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

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Examples of metastasize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For the Xbox One X, intricate computer chips and glowing circuit boards metastasize into the lines of a human iris. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, "Xbox Has Always Chased Power. That's Not Enough Anymore," 5 Oct. 2020 The Obama-Biden administration allowed the ISIS mini-state to metastasize into a bloodthirsty tumor twice the size of New Jersey. Deroy Murdock, National Review, "Trump’s Underappreciated Foreign Policy," 25 Sep. 2020 And when people can’t tolerate their anxious feelings, a large body of research shows, those feelings are more apt to metastasize into lasting mental-health problems. Kate Julian, The Atlantic, "The Best Way to Parent in a Crisis Is to Tell the Truth," 23 June 2020 This complicity by congressional Republicans has allowed ethics problems to metastasize throughout Trump’s administration. Walter M. Shaub Jr., The New York Review of Books, "Ransacking the Republic," 17 June 2020 In Vermont, though, state officials didn’t wait for the crisis to metastasize. Mike Rogoway | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Other states took dramatic steps to address unemployment benefits backlog; Oregon has not," 27 May 2020 The allure of Airbnb Since its founding in 2008, Airbnb has metastasized into an industry-disrupting juggernaut, encompassing more than 3 million hosts and 7 million listings worldwide. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "How Airbnb Could Change After the Pandemic—For the Better," 20 May 2020 Guantanamo Bay remained open, our wars in the Middle East continued and metastasized to Africa, and mass deportations of Mexican and South American immigrants were commonplace. Gretchen Felker-martin,, "How Modern Politics Became A Death Cult," 24 Mar. 2020 In January 2019, Lloyd was diagnosed with cancer, after doctors discovered an inoperable brain tumor that had metastasized from his lungs. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Scrubs and Cougar Town actor Sam Lloyd dies at 56," 1 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for metastasize

Time Traveler

The first known use of metastasize was in 1907

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Statistics for metastasize

Last Updated

19 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Metastasize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for metastasize


intransitive verb
variants: also British metastasise \ mə-​ˈtas-​tə-​ˌsīz How to pronounce metastasise (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 metastasisation (audio) \ noun

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