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met·a·mor·pho·sis  (mt-môrf-ss)
n. pl. met·a·mor·pho·ses (-sz)
1. A transformation, as by magic or sorcery.
2. A marked change in appearance, character, condition, or function.
3. Biology 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.
4. Pathology A usually degenerative change in the structure of a particular body tissue.

[Latin metamorphsis, from Greek, from metamorphoun, to transform : meta-, meta- + morph, form.]
development of a monarch butterfly

metamorphosis [ˌmɛtəˈmɔːfəsɪs]
n pl -ses [-ˌsiːz]
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. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Zoology) 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
[via Latin from Greek: transformation, from meta- + morphē form]

metamorphosis  (mt-môrf-ss)
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.

metamorphosis  /mtmrfss/  n. [U] -ses 1 (in biology) a dramatic change from one stage of life to another, as in the butterflys change from a cocoon to a winged insect: Ancient people believed that humans could undergo metamorphosis from human form to animal form. 2 [C] fig. a dramatic change in character, appearance, etc.: He underwent a real metamorphosis in his teenage years from a weak boy to a strong young man. -v. [I;T] metamorphose /mtmrfoz/. metamorphosis

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