n. pl. me·tas·ta·ses (-sēz′)
1. Transmission of pathogenic microorganisms or cancerous cells from an original site to one or more sites elsewhere in the body, usually by way of the blood vessels or lymphatics.
2. A secondary cancerous growth formed by transmission of cancerous cells from a primary growth located elsewhere in the body.
[Greek, from methistanai, to change : meta-, meta- + histanai, to cause to stand, place; see stā- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
met′a·static (mĕt′ə-stătĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.