noun, plural metastases [muh-tas-tuh-seez] .
the transference of disease-producing organisms or of malignant or cancerous cells to other parts of the body by way of the blood or lymphatic vessels or membranous surfaces.
the condition produced by this.
transformation ( def 3 ).
Rhetoric. a rapid transition, as from one subject to another.
Physics. a change in position or orbit of an elementary particle.

1580–90; < Greek metástasis a changing. See meta-, stasis

metastatic [met-uh-stat-ik] , adjective
metastatically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
metastasis (mɪˈtæstəsɪs)
n , pl -ses
1.  pathol the spreading of a disease, esp cancer cells, from one part of the body to another
2.  a transformation or change, as in rhetoric, from one point to another
3.  a rare word for metabolism
[C16: via Latin from Greek: transition]

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Word Origin & History

1570s, from Gk. metastasis "transference, removal, change," from methistanai "to remove, change," from meta- "over, across" (see meta-) + histanai "to place, cause to stand," from PIE base *sta- "to stand" (see stet). A rhetorical term in L.L. for "a sudden transition in subjects,"
medical use for "shift of disease from one part of the body to another" dates from 1660s in English. Related: Metastasize; metastasized; metastatic.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

metastasis me·tas·ta·sis (mə-tās'tə-sĭs)
n. pl. me·tas·ta·ses (-sēz')

  1. Transmission of pathogenic microorganisms or cancerous cells from an original site to one or more sites elsewhere in the body, usually by way of the blood vessels or lymphatics.

  2. A secondary cancerous growth formed by transmission of cancerous cells from a primary growth located elsewhere in the body.

met'a·stat'ic (mět'ə-stāt'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
metastasis   (mə-tās'tə-sĭs)  Pronunciation Key 
A cancerous tumor formed by transmission of malignant cells from a primary cancer located elsewhere in the body.

metastasize verb
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Metastasis is the spread of cancer to far away sites.
Many experiments showed that tumor growth and metastasis are
He was found to have lung cancer and a single brain metastasis and was advised
  to have surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
Cells that slough into the bloodstream can take hold at distant sites-and a
  metastasis is born.
Related Words
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