Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The process by which rocks are altered in composition, texture, or internal structure by extreme heat, pressure, and the introduction of new chemical substances.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The process by which rocks are changed into other forms by the application of heat and/or pressure.
  • n. 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The state or quality of being metamorphic; the process by which the material of rock masses has been more or less recrystallized by heat, pressure, etc., as in the change of sedimentary limestone to marble.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The process of metamorphosing, or changing the form or structure; specifically, chemical change and rearrangement of the constituents of a rock by which they are made to assume new forms and enter into new combinations, the most important result of these changes being that the rock becomes harder and more crystalline in structure.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. change in the structure of rock by natural agencies such as pressure or heat or introduction of new chemical substances

Etymologies

metamorph(ic) + -ism.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From metamorphosis +‎ -ism, after French métamorphisme. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Some geologists confine the term metamorphism to the changes involved in contact and dynamic metamorphism, and call the resulting products _metamorphic rocks_.

    The Economic Aspect of Geology

  • Basically, a process called metamorphism caused the basalts in Shenandoah to recrystallize with new minerals, such as chlorite, epidote, and albite, which help give the rocks their greenish hue.

    The Killing Hour

  • Rocks are not permanent in their condition, but at practically all times and places are undergoing some kind of metamorphism which tends to adapt them to their environment.

    The Economic Aspect of Geology

  • “Submicron magnetite grains and carbon compounds in Martian meteorite ALH84001: Inorganic, abiotic formation by shock and thermal metamorphism.”

    First Contact

  • These mantle rocks also show a type of metamorphism found only in conditions of very high energy release.

    Vredefort Dome, South Africa

  • It is an oil from Neem seeds, it is used as and anti fungal in gardening. .it also smells bad and drives off insects, those that do eat of it have their larval hormones messed up enough they cannot metamorphism to moths, it is also bitter, it has been used as a contraceptive in its native India.

    The Truth About the Health Effects of Toxic Mold

  • Some metasiltstone or metasandstone occurs, but it is material of very low-grade metamorphism.

    Ecoregions of North Carolina and South Carolina (EPA)

  • A key component was the discovery that processes currently observable - sedimentation, metamorphism and volcanic activity - working over long periods of time, not only could account for the sorts of rocks we actually find, but could account for them better than earlier catastrophic scenarios in most instances.

    Archive 2009-04-01

  • Geologically this assemblage of unusual forms of contact metamorphism with simultaneously intruded acidic and basic magmas is unique in the British Tertiary Volcanic province.

    St Kilda (Hirta) National Nature Reserve, United Kingdom

  • Geology and metamorphism of the Nanda Devi region, Kumaon, Higher Himalaya, India.

    Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Park, India

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