Definitions

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

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. 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.
  • n. Later, a chief city; a seat of government; in the early church, the see or chief city of an ecclesiastical province.
  • n. In modern usage: Specifically, the see or seat of a metropolitan bishop.
  • n. The capital city or seat of government of a country, as London, Paris, or Washington
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

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

Etymologies

Middle English metropol, from Late Latin mētropolis, mother-city, from Greek : mētēr, mētr-, mother; see māter- in Indo-European roots + polis, city; see pelə-3 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First attested in Middle English: from Late Latin mētropolis, from Ancient Greek μητρόπολις (mētrópolis, "mother city"), from μήτηρ (mḗtēr, "mother") + πόλις (pólis, "city (state)"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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

    orrologion

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

    The Puritans

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

    Collected Essays, Volume V Science and Christian Tradition: Essays

  • 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.

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

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

    » Why I Love the Suburbs Strocel.com

  • 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

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

    Weekly Mishmash: March 15-21 : Scrubbles.net

  • 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

  • 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

  • And Yarmouth, that great metropolis, is about twice the population of the whole of Lurgan, let alone the townland where where last night's killing occurred.

    Pathetic army excuse about base security does nothing to answer the questions

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