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

  • adj. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a major city: crowded metropolitan streets; a metropolitan newspaper.
  • adj. Of or constituting a large city or urbanized area, including adjacent suburbs and towns: the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area; a metropolitan county.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or constituting the home territory of an imperial or colonial state.
  • adj. Of or relating to an ecclesiastical metropolitan.
  • n. A citizen of a metropolis, especially one who displays urbane characteristics, attitudes, and values.
  • n. In the Western Christian churches, a bishop with provincial powers, with some authority over suffragan bishops.
  • n. Eastern Orthodox Church A bishop who is head of an ecclesiastical province and ranks next below the patriarch.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the capital or principal city of a country.
  • adj. Of, pertaining to, or designating, a metropolitan or the presiding bishop of a country or province, his office, or his dignity.
  • n. The superior or presiding bishop of a country or province.
  • n. An archbishop.
  • n. A bishop whose see is a civil metropolis. His rank is intermediate between that of an archbishop and a patriarch.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of or pertaining to a metropolis, in any sense; residing in or connected with a metropolis: as, metropolitan enterprise; metropolitan police.
  • Of or pertaining to the chief see of an ecclesiastical province: as, a metropolitan church.
  • n. A citizen of the mother city or parent state of a colony. See metropolis, 1.
  • n. Eccles.: In the early Christian church, the bishop of the municipal capital of a province or eparchy, who had a general ecclesiastical superintendence over the bishops and churches of his province, continued, ordained, and when necessary excommunicated the bishops, and convened and presided over the provincial synods.
  • n. In modern usage, in the Roman Catholic and other episcopal churches, any archbishop who has bishops under his authority.
  • n. In the Greek Church, the bishop of the municipal capital of a province, who is in rank intermediate between a patriarch and a bishop or titular archbishop.
  • n. A chief city; a metropolis.

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

  • n. a person who lives in a metropolis
  • adj. relating to or characteristic of a metropolis
  • n. in the Eastern Orthodox Church this title is given to a position between bishop and patriarch; equivalent to archbishop in western Christianity


Middle English, of a metropolitan bishop, from Late Latin mētropolītānus, metropolitan, from Greek mētropolītēs, citizen of a metropolis, from mētropolis, mother city; see metropolis.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Late Latin metropolitanus, from Ancient Greek μητροπολίτης (metropolitēs). (Wiktionary)



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