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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Metamorphism \Met`a*mor"phism\, n. (Geol.) The state or quality of being metamorphic; the process by which the material of rock masses has been more or less recrystallized by heat, pressure, etc., as in the change of sedimentary limestone to marble.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1837, from metamorphic + -ism.


n. 1 (context geology English) The process by which rocks are changed into other forms by the application of heat and/or pressure. 2 (context zoology English) The process by which insects development through life stages -- as, for example, those of embryo, larva, pupa and imago. The life cycle of the butterfly is one of complete metamorphosis, in which the embryo grows within the egg, hatches into the larval stage caterpillar, enters the pupal stage within its chrysalis, and finally emerges as an adult butterfly imago.


n. change in the structure of rock by natural agencies such as pressure or heat of introduction of new chemical substances


Metamorphism is the change of minerals or geologic texture (distinct arrangement of minerals) in pre-existing rocks ( protoliths), without the protolith melting into liquid magma (a solid-state change). The change occurs primarily due to heat, pressure, and the introduction of chemically active fluids. The chemical components and crystal structures of the minerals making up the rock may change even though the rock remains a solid. Changes at or just beneath Earth's surface due to weathering and/or diagenesis are not classified as metamorphism. Metamorphism typically occurs between diagenesis (max. 200°C), and melting (~850°C).

Three types of metamorphism exist: contact, dynamic, and regional. Metamorphism produced with increasing pressure and temperature conditions is known as prograde metamorphism. Conversely, decreasing temperatures and pressure characterize retrograde metamorphism.

Metamorphism (album)

Metamorphism is an album by Japanese noise musician Merzbow. The first 500 copies come in a marble box carved with the image of a fossilized ammonite.

Metamorphism (disambiguation)

Metamorphism, in geology, is the solid state recrystallisation of rocks under environmental forces.

Metamorphism may also refer to:

  • Metamorphism (Merzbow album) (2006).
  • Metamorphism (computer science), a concept similar to a hylomorphism.
  • Metamorphic code, computer code that rewrites itself.

See also:

  • Metamorphosis (disambiguation)

Usage examples of "metamorphism".

In nearby regions of the Massif Central we see even more clearly the workings of intracrustal metamorphism, the anatexis engendered above one or more ascending asthenospheric diapirs.

I exclude, of course, the various mutations, autisms, metamorphisms and madnesses with which the Great Vampires were ever afflicted, if afflicted is the right word.