from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An emigrant or immigrant; specifically, in ancient Greece, a resident alien who in general bore the burdens of a citizen, and had some of the citizen's privileges; hence, any resident alien.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Gr. Antiq.) A sojourner; an immigrant; an alien resident in a Grecian city, but not a citizen.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun In ancient Greece, a resident alien who did not have citizen rights and who paid a tax for the right to live there.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an alien who paid a fee to reside in an ancient Greek city


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word metic.


  • Even if a slave becomes freed, he does not become an Athenian citizen; he is only a "metic," a resident foreigner, and his old master, or some other Athenian, must be his patron and representative in every kind of legal business.

    A Day in Old Athens; a Picture of Athenian Life

  • But the convoluted arith - metic also holds a broader lesson about Bush's second term.


  • A force of metic hoplites amounting to at least three thousand took part in the invasion, and also a large number of light-armed troops.

    The History of the Peloponnesian War

  • I mean that the father grows accustomed to descend to the level of his sons and to fear them, and the son is on a level with his father, he having no respect or reverence for either of his parents; and this is his freedom; and the metic is equal with the citizen, and the citizen with the metic, and the stranger is quite as good as either.

    The Republic by Plato ; translated by Benjamin Jowett

  • If a man sells any adulterated goods and will not obey these regulations, he who knows and can prove the fact, and does prove it in the presence of the magistrates, if he be a slave or a metic, shall have the adulterated goods; but if he be a citizen, and do not pursue the charge, he shall be called a rogue, and deemed to have robbed the


  • This shall be the second law: — He who engages in retail trade must be either a metic or a stranger.


  • He who is not a metic, if he comes to the rescue, shall have praise, and if he do not come, blame.


  • But if a stranger or metic smite one who is older by twenty years or more, the same law shall hold about the bystanders assisting, and he who is found guilty in such a suit, if he be a stranger but not resident, shall be imprisoned during a period of two years; and a metic who disobeys the laws shall be imprisoned for three years, unless the court assign him a longer term.


  • If he be a metic, let him be absent for a year, or if he be an entire stranger, in addition to the purification, whether he have slain a stranger, or a metic, or a citizen, he shall be banished for life from the country which is in possession of our laws.


  • But my father's affair with a Syracusan woman had made my half brother a metic -- able to live and work in Athens, paying taxes, attending festivals, but not able to vote -- a kind of half citizen.

    Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Ancient Greeks taxed metics (resident aliens) for the privilege of living in their cities.

    July 5, 2010