metastasis

noun me·tas·ta·sis \ mə-ˈtas-tə-səs \
Updated on: 17 Nov 2017

Definition of metastasis

plural metastases play \-ˌsēz\
1 a : change of position, state, or form
b : the spread of a disease-producing agency (such as cancer cells) from the initial or primary site of disease to another part of the body
  • metastasis of breast cancer to bone
  • Medical Physics
; also : the process by which such spreading occurs
2 : a secondary malignant (see malignant 2) tumor resulting from metastasis

metastatic

play \ˌme-tə-ˈsta-tik\ adjective

metastatically

play \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Recent Examples of metastasis from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of metastasis

New Latin, from Late Latin, transition, from Greek, from methistanai to change, from meta- + histanai to set — more at stand


Medical Dictionary

metastasis

noun me·tas·ta·sis \ mə-ˈtas-tə-səs \

medical Definition of metastasis

plural metastases play \-ˌsēz\
1 a : change of position, state, or form
b : the spread of a disease-producing agent (as cancer cells or bacteria) or disease from the initial or primary site of disease to another part of the body
  • The overwhelming concern about prostate cancer is its potential for metastasis—for cells to escape the gland and take root in lymph nodes, bones, lungs, skin, or other tissue.
  • —Tom AlexanderFortune20 Sept. 1993
; also : the process by which such spreading occurs
2 : a secondary malignant tumor resulting from metastasis
  • … radiation has no known effect on distant metastases from breast cancer …
  • —David PlotkinThe Atlantic MonthlyJune 1996

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