metamorphism

[met-uh-mawr-fiz-uhm]
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:
1835–45; meta- + -morphism

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
metamorphism (ˌmɛtəˈmɔːfɪzəm)
 
n
1.  the process by which metamorphic rocks are formed
2.  a variant of metamorphosis

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
metamorphism  [%PREMIUM_LINK%]     (mět'ə-môr'fĭz'əm)  Pronunciation Key 
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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Example sentences
Metamorphism is a complex process with a number of simultaneously interacting
  and related components.
Another type of metamorphism, contact metamorphism, occurs when hot igneous
  rock intrudes into some pre-existing rock.
Two of the common types are: regional metamorphism and contact metamorphism.
Low-temperature scanning electron microscopy of snow crystal metamorphism in
  winter snow covers.
Images for metamorphism
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