metaphase met·a·phase (mět'ə-fāz')
The stage of mitosis and meiosis, following prophase and preceding anaphase, during which the chromosomes are aligned along the metaphase plate.
The stage of cell division in which the duplicated chromosomes become aligned along the center of the cell, called the equatorial plate or metaphase plate. Metaphase lasts up to an hour, and ends in mitosis and the second division of meiosis when separation of the paired chromosomal strands (called chromatids) begins. In the first division of meiosis, the paired chromosomes separate from one another. Metaphase is preceded by prophase and followed by anaphase. See more at meiosis, mitosis.