Definition of metastasis in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /məˈtastəsəs/

noun (plural metastases /-ˌsēz/)

1The development of secondary malignant growths at a distance from a primary site of cancer.
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.
1.1A metastatic growth.
Example sentences
  • This eliminates perverse growth, anticipating the metastasis that is seeking to re-enter the system.
  • GTP inhibited the levels of urokinase plasminogen activator as well as matrix metalloproteinases 2 and 9, cellular molecules linked to the metastasis.
  • However, only in 3 of these cases was the morphologic appearance in the metastasis so well differentiated as to be considered benign if taken out of context.



Pronunciation: /ˌmedəˈstadik/
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'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: me·tas·ta·sis

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.