If you've ever seen a caterpillar emerge from its cocoon transformed into a butterfly, you've watched it metamorphose, or change completely.

Use the verb metamorphose to describe a total transformation, like an egg into a bird or a seed into a tomato plant. When someone or something changes in appearance, they also metamorphose, the way a messy kid does when he tucks in his shirt and combs his hair. The origins of the word metamorphose lie in the Greek meta, or "change," and morphe, "form."

Definitions of metamorphose

v change in outward structure or looks

“The salesman metamorphosed into an ugly beetle”
transform, transmute
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transform into gold
become, turn
undergo a change or development
boil down, come down, reduce
be the essential element
choke, suffocate
become stultified, suppressed, or stifled
form into a nucleus
add up, amount, come
develop into
Type of:
undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature

v change completely the nature or appearance of

transfigure, transmogrify
Type of:
change by reversal, reverse, turn
change to the contrary

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