Metamorphosis - metamorphoses

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The noun metamorphosis, meaning 'transformation', 'change' (in shape, etc), is of Greek origin, transmitted through Latin, where it was made famous by the poet Ovid. He used the plural metamorphoses as the title of one of his best-known poems, Metamorphoses, a collection in 15 books of many of the classical myths of transformations, by gods of mortals and other forms of supernatural occurrence. This is the source of many of the long-standing stories of European art and literature, such as Jupiter's seductions of Danae and Europa; the loves of Venus for Adonis and of Apollo for Daphne - and of Narcissus for himself; Pyramus and Thisbe; Niobe; Philomela; Tiresias, and many more.

The plural metamorphoses is a regular formation in Latin (see -is in Latin and Greek).

The usual pronunciation in current British English is stressed on the third syllable, 'met-a-MORF-oh-sis' (IPA: /,mɛt ə 'mɔːr fəs ɪs/) and 'met-a-MORF-oh-seas' (IPA: /,mɛtə'mɔːr fəs iːz/). Another pronunciation of the singular, stressed on the fourth syllable, used to be heard in academic circles, 'met-a-morf-OH-sis' (IPA: /,mɛt ə mɔːr 'fəʊ sɪs/) .

Etymological note: The Greek word is ‚ μεταμόρφωσις (metamorphosis), from the verb μεταμορφόω (metamorphoō), 'I transform'.