of, noting, or characteristic of a metropolis or its inhabitants, especially in culture, sophistication, or in accepting and combining a wide variety of people, ideas, etc.
of or pertaining to a large city, its surrounding suburbs, and other neighboring communities: the New York metropolitan area.
pertaining to or constituting a mother country.
pertaining to an ecclesiastical metropolis.
an inhabitant of a metropolis.
a person who has the sophistication, fashionable taste, or other habits and manners associated with those who live in a metropolis.
Eastern Church. the head of an ecclesiastical province.
an archbishop in the Church of England.
Roman Catholic Church. an archbishop who has authority over one or more suffragan sees.
(in ancient Greece) a citizen of the mother city or parent state of a colony.

1300–50; Middle English < Late Latin mētropolītānus of, belonging to a metropolis < Greek mētropolī́t(ēs) (see metropolis, -ite1) + Latin -ānus -an

metropolitanism, noun
intermetropolitan, adjective
nonmetropolitan, adjective, noun
supermetropolitan, adjective
unmetropolitan, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
metropolitan (ˌmɛtrəˈpɒlɪtən)
1.  of or characteristic of a metropolis
2.  constituting a city and its suburbs: the metropolitan area
3.  of, relating to, or designating an ecclesiastical metropolis
4.  of or belonging to the home territories of a country, as opposed to overseas territories: metropolitan France
5.  a.  Eastern Churches the head of an ecclesiastical province, ranking between archbishop and patriarch
 b.  Church of England an archbishop
 c.  RC Church an archbishop or bishop having authority in certain matters over the dioceses in his province

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

early 15c., as a noun, "bishop having oversight of other bishops," from L.L. metropolitanus, from Gk. metropolis "mother city" (from which others have been colonized), from meter "mother" + polis "city" (see policy (1)). In Gk., "parent state of a colony;" later, "see of
a metropolitan bishop." In the West, the position now roughly corresponds to archbishop, but in the Greek church it ranks above it. In English, the adj. sense of "belonging to an ecclesiastical metropolis" is from 1540s; that of "belonging to a chief or capital city" is from 1550s. In reference to underground city railways, it is attested from 1867.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Anglican churches, the head of an ecclesiastical province. Originally, a metropolitan was a bishop of the Christian Church who resided in the chief city, or metropolis, of a civil province of the Roman Empire and, for ecclesiastical purposes, administered a territorial area coextensive with a civil province. The first known use of the title in church conciliar documents was at the Council of Nicaea in 325, which definitely established the metropolitan in the organization of the church

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Metropolitan regions are now home to the majority of the population.
They will conclude by researching and reporting on the sprawl situation in a
  nearby metropolitan area.
Since then, however, the skill-level of metropolitan areas has diverged.
But you don't need an alibi-or an excuse-to visit one of the country's fastest
  growing metropolitan areas.
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