From metamorphosis +‎ -ism, after French métamorphisme.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /mɛtəˈmɔːfɪz(ə)m/


metamorphism ‎(plural metamorphisms)

  1. (geology) The process by which rocks are changed into other forms by the application of heat and/or pressure.
    • 2004, Richard Fortey, The Earth, Folio Society 2011, p. 100:
      burial means that the ambient pressure on the rock increases – as does the temperature. This encourages metamorphism.
  2. (zoology) The process by which insects development through life stages -- as, for example, those of embryo, larva, pupa and imago. The life cycle of the butterfly is one of complete metamorphosis, in which the embryo grows within the egg, hatches into the larval stage caterpillar, enters the pupal stage within its chrysalis, and finally emerges as an adult butterfly imago.

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