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metropolis

[mi-trop-uh-lis]
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noun, plural me·trop·o·lis·es.
  1. any large, busy city.
  2. the chief, and sometimes capital, city of a country, state, or region.
  3. a central or principal place, as of some activity: the music metropolis of France.
  4. the mother city or parent state of a colony, especially of an ancient Greek colony.
  5. the chief see of an ecclesiastical province.
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Origin of metropolis

1350–1400; Middle English < Late Latin mētropolis < Greek mētrópolis a mother state or city, equivalent to mētro-, combining form of mḗtēr mother1 + pólis -polis, polis
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for metropolis

metropolis

noun plural -lises
  1. the main city, esp of a country or region; capital
  2. a centre of activity
  3. the chief see in an ecclesiastical province
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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 Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for metropolis

n.

"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.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper