Definition of metastasis in English:


Line breaks: me¦tas|ta¦sis
Pronunciation: /mɪˈtastəsɪs

noun (plural metastases /-siːz/)

[mass noun] Medicine
  • 1The development of secondary malignant growths at a distance from a primary site of cancer: an increased risk of metastasis
    More example sentences
    • Six years later, a fine-needle aspirate of a cervical vertebra showed malignant cells consistent with metastasis from a primary lung carcinoma.
    • Patients with a diagnosis of granular cell tumor should have a complete physical examination to exclude other primary tumors or metastasis from an aggressive malignant tumor.
    • Preoperatively, radiation is delivered to decrease the risk of local recurrence, prevent the development of distant metastasis and reduce tumor size to permit sphincter-preserving surgery.
  • 1.1 [count noun] A metastatic growth: the patient developed pleural and liver metastases
    More example sentences
    • These findings were thought to be consistent with carcinoid tumor with metastases to the liver.
    • Patients with certain rare tumours, such as liver metastases from neuroendocrine disease and sarcomas, can do well for several years.
    • We report a case in which cutaneous metastases from a melanoma imitated herpes zoster.



Pronunciation: /mɛtəˈstatɪk/
More example sentences
  • Unlike carcinomas, metastatic sarcomas generally occur deeper and may not ulcerate the mucosa.
  • Meningeal spread is not uncommon in cases of intracranial gliomas or metastatic carcinoma.
  • The echocardiography and the pathologic examination revealed a metastatic melanoma.


late 16th century (as a rhetorical term, meaning 'rapid transition from one point to another'): from Greek, literally 'removal or change', from methistanai 'to change'.

More definitions of metastasis

Definition of metastasis in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day kerf
Pronunciation: kəːf
a slit made by cutting with a saw