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metamorphism

[met-uh-mawr-fiz-uh m] /ˌmɛt əˈmɔr fɪz əm/
noun
1.
Geology. a change in the structure or constitution of a rock due to natural agencies, as pressure and heat, especially when the rock becomes harder and more completely crystalline.
2.
Archaic. metamorphosis.
Origin of metamorphism
1835-1845
1835-45; meta- + -morphism
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for metamorphism
Historical Examples
  • The metamorphic rocks are associated with bands of epidiorite which have shared in the folding and metamorphism of the region.

  • Nor is the metamorphism of the invaded rock limited to simple intrusion.

  • All of the chemical, mineralogical, and textural changes in rocks above described may be collectively referred to as metamorphism.

  • A common cause of the metamorphism of rocks is the intrusion into them of igneous rocks.

    Geology William J. Miller
  • Often no granite or other intrusive rock is present which may be regarded as the cause of the metamorphism.

  • This state of things is called general, or normal, metamorphism.

  • The metamorphism is more striking in the first change than in the second.

    A Journey in Other Worlds John Jacob Astor
  • How is metamorphism on the large scale supposed to have been induced?

    Geology James Geikie
  • An important result of metamorphism is the production of new minerals in the rocks acted on.

    North America Israel C. Russell
  • Whether the rocks below the zone of metamorphism are fused or not depends on pressure.

    North America Israel C. Russell
British Dictionary definitions for metamorphism

metamorphism

/ˌmɛtəˈmɔːfɪzəm/
noun
1.
the process by which metamorphic rocks are formed
2.
a variant of metamorphosis
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for metamorphism
n.

1837, from metamorphic + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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metamorphism in Science
metamorphism
  (mět'ə-môr'fĭz'əm)   
The process by which rocks are changed in composition, texture, or structure by extreme heat and pressure. ◇ In prograde metamorphism metamorphic rocks that were formed under low pressure and temperature conditions undergo a second metamorphic event in which they are exposed to higher pressures and temperatures. ◇ In retrograde metamorphism metamorphic rocks that were formed under high pressure and temperature conditions undergo a second metamorphic event in which they are exposed to lower pressures and temperatures. See more at contact metamorphism, regional metamorphism.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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