American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Alteration of a word by the addition, omission, or transposition of sounds or syllables or the letters that represent them.
- n. Nonliving material in the protoplasm of a cell, such as pigment granules or nutritive substances.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In grammar: A change or transmutation in a word by adding, transposing, or retrenching a syllable or letter.
- n. Formation of an oblique case or cases from a stem other than that of the nominative.
- n. In botany, protoplasm containing certain carbohydrates which are eventually separated from it in the formation of cell-walls or as secretions.
- n. In cytology, a collective term applied to lifeless or non-living substances or inclusions such as yolk-bodies, starch, pigment, etc., in the cell-protoplasm, as distinguished from the living substances.
- n. linguistics Any change in a word made by altering its letters or sounds
- n. biology A small particle (often nutrient) within a cell
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Gram.) A change in the letters or syllables of a word.
- Middle English metaplasmus, from Latin, from Greek metaplasmos, remodeling, from metaplassein, to remold : meta-, meta- + plassein, to mold; . meta- + -plasm. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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