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 Given the ability of groups of cells to invade and metastasize more effectively, interfering with molecules that cancer cells use to stick to one another could be another future direction for therapies. Athena Aktipis, Scientific American, "How Evolution Helps Us Understand Cancer and Control It," 1 Jan. 2021 Our conclusion suggested that overuse of resources by cancer cells may be one of the pressures that drives cancer to metastasize, or spread. Athena Aktipis, Scientific American, "How Evolution Helps Us Understand Cancer and Control It," 1 Jan. 2021 Experts who study far-right organizations warn that as members distance themselves from the group, the Proud Boys could metastasize into an increasingly violent organization led by those who have long jockeyed for control. Marissa J. Lang, Anchorage Daily News, "As fractures emerge among Proud Boys, experts warn of a shift toward extremist violence," 26 Feb. 2021 This cooperation among rule breakers may drive their ability to successfully metastasize and invade other tissues. Athena Aktipis, Scientific American, "How Evolution Helps Us Understand Cancer and Control It," 1 Jan. 2021 While cancer of the prostate is often not solely responsible for deaths, cancer from the organ can spread — or metastasize — to other areas of the body which increases mortality possibilities. Jeff Forward, Chron, "Pre-screening key to combating prostate cancer," 12 Nov. 2020 Most people diagnosed with the cancer are not candidates for surgery because the cancer has metastasize – spread outside of the pancreas to other parts of the body. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, "Alex Trebek dead at 80: Why pancreatic cancer is so deadly," 9 Nov. 2020 Allen Lee, 32, whose lung cancer had metastasized to the brain at the time of his diagnosis in March 2015, is eager to participate in clinical trials but has yet to qualify for one because of his untreated brain metastases. Aimee Swartz,, "Cancer clinical trials exclude many desperate patients - should that change?," 18 Dec. 2017 Players were asked constantly about it in the 2016 offseason, and whether the problem might metastasize. Albert Breer,, "Cam, Aaron and Le’Veon: Storylines to Follow on the First NFL Sunday of 2017," 9 Sep. 2017

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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Statistics for metastasize

Last Updated

23 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Metastasize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 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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