a complete change
Caterpillars go through a metamorphosis to became butterflies.
met‧a‧mor‧pho‧sis /ˌmetəˈmɔːfəsəs, ˌmetəˈmɔːfəsɪs $ -ˈmɔːr-/ BrE AmE noun (plural metamorphoses /-siːz/) [uncountable and countable]
[Date: 1500-1600; Language: Latin; Origin: Greek, from meta- ( ⇨ ↑meta-) + morphe 'shape']
1. formal a process in which something changes completely into something very different SYN transformation:
It took me some time to undergo the metamorphosis from teacher to lecturer.
the metamorphosis of China under Deng’s economic reforms
2. a process in which a young insect, ↑frog etc changes into another stage in its development:
Beetles undergo a complete metamorphosis in their life cycle.
meta·mor·phosis [metamorphosis metamorphoses] [ˌmetəˈmɔːfəsɪs] [ˌmetəˈmɔːrfəsɪs] noun (pl. meta·mor·phoses [ˌmetəˈmɔːfəsiːz] ; [metəˈmɔːrfəsiːz] ) countable, uncountable (formal)
a process in which sb/sth changes completely into sth different
• the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly
• She had undergone an amazing metamorphosis from awkward schoolgirl to beautiful woman.
late Middle English: via Latin from Greek metamorphōsis, from metamorphoun ‘transform, change shape’.
• We studied the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly.
metamorphosis / ˌmet.əˈmɔː.fə.sɪs / / ˌmet̬.əˈmɔːr- / noun ( plural metamorphoses )
[ C ] a complete change:
Under the new editor, the magazine has undergone a metamorphosis.
[ U ] specialized the process by which the young form of insects and some animals, such as frogs, develops into the adult form
When a metamorphosis occurs, a person or thing develops and changes into something completely different. (FORMAL)
...his metamorphosis from a republican to a democrat...
meta·mor·pho·sis /ˌmɛtəˈmoɚfəsəs/ noun, pl -pho·ses /-fəˌsiːz/
1 : a major change in the appearance or character of someone or something
• We have watched her metamorphosis from a shy schoolgirl into a self-confident businesswoman.
• a company that has gone through a series of metamorphoses
• The government has undergone political metamorphosis since his election.
2 biology : a major change in the form or structure of some animals or insects that happens as the animal or insect becomes an adult
• the metamorphosis of tadpoles into frogs
• The class learned about how caterpillars undergo metamorphosis to become butterflies.
• caterpillars undergoing metamorphoses