Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To change into a wholly different form or appearance; transform: "His eyes turned bloodshot, and he was metamorphosed into a raging fiend” ( Jack London).
  • transitive v. To subject to metamorphosis or metamorphism.
  • intransitive v. To be changed or transformed by or as if by metamorphosis or metamorphism. See Synonyms at convert.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to undergo metamorphosis
  • v. to transform (something) into a completely different appearance

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Same as metamorphosis.
  • transitive v. To change into a different form; to transform; to transmute.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To change into a different form; alter or modify the shape or character of; transform; transmute.
  • Synonyms Transmute, etc. See transform.
  • n. A transformation in shape or character; metamorphosis.

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

  • v. change in outward structure or looks
  • v. change completely the nature or appearance of

Etymologies

French métamorphoser, from Old French, from metamorphose, metamorphosis, from Latin metamorphōsis; see metamorphosis.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • This helped my pain metamorphose into something less personal and more universal, something organic and natural.

    Excerpt: The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg

  • I've always functioned under the impression that part of being a good citizen is caring for our fellow citizens, but to hear the pundit class parse and metamorphose this issue from a moral imperative into a collision of classes, it's apparently anything but.

    Zaki Hasan: The GOP's Tax Attacks

  • As the day progressed, "The Maltese Unicorn" began to metamorphose from joke to viable story concept.

    Howard Hughes and the Ghost of Better Times

  • From the smoldering remains of the destruction, Cortés built two of what were to metamorphose in the future as Cuernavaca's main tourist attractions: the Palacio de Cortés (now a history museum) and the Catedral de la Asunción.

    In Morelos, Cuernavaca springs eternal

  • Most important, Slawenski is able to answer a literary question Hamilton posed in 1988: How did the post-war author of such lax, immature stories as the ones published in Cosmopolitan and Good Housekeeping metamorphose into the ironic, controlled creator of "For Esme" and other masterworks in "Nine Stories"?

    Kenneth Slawenski's biography of J.D. Salinger

  • Not only do people appear to adopt an online persona which simply does not sit with the real life person behind the username, but I have definitely noticed that for some of the trolls, the waves of vitriol and bile, if left unchecked, can metamorphose into an enormous tsunami of poisonous hatred and abuse beyond what can ever be acceptable either morally or legally.

    Ambi Sitham: Keyboard Warriors and Trolls: Post in haste, Repent at Your Leisure

  • The first might be called "slip-sliding into conflagration," and World War I not that any dust-up between Iran and its adversaries will metamorphose into a global conflict is an exemplar.

    Rajan Menon: Iran, the West, and the Lessons of the Great War

  • Several moments recall War Horse which Morris co-directed – especially the fabulously sinister, perfectly observed cormorant puppets, with bin-liner wings, who steal Roger's toast and metamorphose into grim reapers with scythes for beaks.

    Swallows and Amazons – review

  • Still, Vaughan does a commendable job, embodying the sense of how fan worship can metamorphose into sexual desire.

    Theater review of 'Mary Stuart' by the Washington Shakespeare Company

  • I want it to metamorphose a little before it reaches the page.

    intertribal: Friday links

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.