from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A major city, especially the chief city of a country or region.
  • noun A city or an urban area regarded as the center of a specific activity.
  • noun Ecclesiastical The chief see of a metropolitan bishop.
  • noun The mother city or country of an overseas colony, especially in ancient Greece.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In ancient Greece, the mother city or parent state of a colony, as Corinth of Corcyra and Syracuse, or Phocæa of Massalia (Marseilles), the colony being independent, but usually maintaining close relations with the metropolis.
  • noun Later, a chief city; a seat of government; in the early church, the see or chief city of an ecclesiastical province.
  • noun In modern usage: Specifically, the see or seat of a metropolitan bishop.
  • noun The capital city or seat of government of a country, as London, Paris, or Washington
  • noun A chief city; a city holding the first rank in any respect, within a certain territorial range: as, New York is the commercial metropolis of the United States.
  • noun In zoögeog. and botany, the place of most numerous representation of a species by individuals, or of a genus by species; the focus of a generic area. See generic.

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

  • noun The mother city; the chief city of a kingdom, state, or country.
  • noun (Eccl.) The seat, or see, of the metropolitan, or highest church dignitary.
  • noun Any large city.

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

  • noun history The mother (founding) polis (city state) of a colony, especially in the Ancient Greek/Hellenistic world.
  • noun A large, busy city, especially as the main city in an area or country or as distinguished from surrounding rural areas.
  • noun canon law The see of a metropolitan archbishop, ranking above its suffragan diocesan bishops.

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

  • noun people living in a large densely populated municipality
  • noun a large and densely populated urban area; may include several independent administrative districts


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English metropol, from Late Latin mētropolis, mother-city, from Greek : mētēr, mētr-, mother; see māter- in Indo-European roots + polis, city; see pelə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

First attested in Middle English: from Late Latin mētropolis, from Ancient Greek μητρόπολις (mētrópolis, "mother city"), from μήτηρ (mḗtēr, "mother") + πόλις (pólis, "city (state)").


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  • The term metropolis comes from two Greek words meter and polis, or "mother-city."

    orrologion 2009

  • "If anything could spoil his temper, it is a day in what he calls the metropolis of Philistinism."

    The Puritans Arlo Bates 1884

  • Vespasian marched against "Gadara," which he calls the metropolis of

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  • A second and more artificial cause of the growth of a metropolis is the residence of a monarch, the expense of a luxurious court, and the tributes of dependent provinces.

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  • Julianne Moore (great as always) leads the cast as the sole sighted woman after an unnamed metropolis is gripped in a mysterious blindness epidemic.

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  • Most of the time this bustling metropolis is a model for organised chaos, and our ethnic, religious and other communities mingle freely, be it in business, street sports or our many mixed families.

    Karachi killings must stop Mustafa Qadri 2010

  • Our town has less than 10k people, nearest metropolis is over 2 hours away.

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  • Reading itself, which "loomed for a Shillington child as an immense, remote, menacing, and glamorous metropolis," is a remarkably recognizable Brewer, with its depiction over the Rabbit series offering a nearly perfect rendering of the actual city's respectable past, attempts at renewal and hardscrabble present.

    Keystone to Updike's Imagination Anthony Paletta 2010

  • The installation moves from harrowing recordings of emergency calls at the time of the tragedy to lovely images of Beijing-born master calligrapher Gong Fagen at work; there are ghost stories, reconstructions of pre-war Shanghai movies, and flickering images of Pudong, the Shanghai district that has become China's hub of crony capitalism (one economist recently described Shanghai as "the world's most successful Potemkin metropolis" – meaning there is little behind the moneyed facade).

    Isaac Julien's angel of Morecambe Stuart Jeffries 2010

  • Julianne Moore (great as always) leads the cast as the sole sighted woman after an unnamed metropolis is gripped in a mysterious blindness epidemic.

    2009 March : 2009


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