noun, plural metamorphoses [met-uh-mawr-fuh-seez] .
Biology. a profound change in form from one stage to the next in the life history of an organism, as from the caterpillar to the pupa and from the pupa to the adult butterfly. Compare complete metamorphosis.
a complete change of form, structure, or substance, as transformation by magic or witchcraft.
any complete change in appearance, character, circumstances, etc.
a form resulting from any such change.
a type of alteration or degeneration in which tissues are changed: fatty metamorphosis of the liver.
the resultant form.
Botany. the structural or functional modification of a plant organ or structure during its development.

1525–35; < Neo-Latin metamorphōsis < Greek metamórphōsis transformation. See meta-, -morph, -osis

nonmetamorphosis, noun, plural nonmetamorphoses.

2. mutation, transmutation.

1, 2. stasis. Unabridged

Metamorphosis, The

noun German Die Verwandlung.
a short story (1915) by Franz Kafka. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
metamorphosis (ˌmɛtəˈmɔːfəsɪs)
n , pl -ses
1.  a complete change of physical form or substance
2.  a complete change of character, appearance, etc
3.  a person or thing that has undergone metamorphosis
4.  zoology the rapid transformation of a larva into an adult that occurs in certain animals, for example the stage between tadpole and frog or between chrysalis and butterfly
[C16: via Latin from Greek: transformation, from meta- + morphē form]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1530s, "change of form or shape, especially by witchcraft," from L. metamorphosis, from Gk. metamorphosis "a transforming," from metamorphoun "to transform," from meta- "change" (see meta-) + morphe "form" (see morphine).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

metamorphosis met·a·mor·pho·sis (mět'ə-môr'fə-sĭs)
n. pl. met·a·mor·pho·ses (-sēz')

  1. A marked change in appearance, character, condition, or function. Also called transformation.

  2. A change in the form and often habits of an animal during normal development after the embryonic stage. Metamorphosis includes, in insects, the transformation of a maggot into an adult fly and a caterpillar into a butterfly and, in amphibians, the changing of a tadpole into a frog.

  3. A usually degenerative pathological change in the structure of a particular body tissue.

met'a·mor·phot'ic (-môr-fŏt'ĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
metamorphosis   (mět'ə-môr'fə-sĭs)  Pronunciation Key 
Dramatic change in the form and often the habits of an animal during its development after birth or hatching. The transformation of a maggot into an adult fly and of a tadpole into an adult frog are examples of metamorphosis. The young of such animals are called larvae.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
metamorphosis [(met-uh-mawr-fuh-sis)]

A change in an animal as it grows, particularly a radical change, such as the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
So the metamorphosis, if that's what it is, is still in progress.
He then went through a slow and remarkable metamorphosis.
Although this extraordinary metamorphosis rivals the majestic butterfly's,
  illustrations and text convey facts more than wonder.
Each metamorphosis produced at least one superb album.
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