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[mi-trop-uh-lis] /mɪˈtrɒp ə lɪs/
noun, plural metropolises.
any large, busy city.
the chief, and sometimes capital, city of a country, state, or region.
a central or principal place, as of some activity:
the music metropolis of France.
the mother city or parent state of a colony, especially of an ancient Greek colony.
the chief see of an ecclesiastical province.
Origin of metropolis
1350-1400; Middle English < Late Latin mētropolis < Greek mētrópolis a mother state or city, equivalent to mētro-, combining form of mḗtēr mother + pólis -polis, polis Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for metropolis
  • Not bad-but in the same period the sprawling metropolis outside the city proper grew by well over a million.
  • It is a metropolis with the lazy charm of the countryside.
  • Vertical farms propose to feed the growing ranks of urban dwellers from within the bounds of each metropolis.
  • But everyone knows that the metropolis of tomorrow has its eyes fixed skyward.
  • These are housed in a metropolis of observation domes.
  • The provincial towns of an empire would become so many suburbs of the metropolis.
  • Today the pedestrian-free zone is three times larger and serves as the heart of the bustling metropolis.
  • But such attributes may come and go in the life of a metropolis.
  • There is, though, some element of pathos to the sensations of this astounding metropolis.
  • The size of the metropolis would depend upon the value of rents which it controlled.
British Dictionary definitions for metropolis


noun (pl) -lises
the main city, esp of a country or region; capital
a centre of activity
the chief see in an ecclesiastical province
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin from Greek: mother city or state, from mētēr mother + polis city
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for metropolis

"seat of a metropolitan bishop," 1530s, from Late Latin metropolis; see metropolitan. Meaning "chief town or capital city of a province" is first attested 1580s, earlier metropol (late 14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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