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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 mother1 + pólis -polis, polis Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for metropolises
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But the army stopped far short of the new Edens and metropolises.

    Martin Van Buren Edward M. Shepard
  • But the pressing disc of the battle-front which had been lowering on Chicago, greatest of Earth's metropolises, was lifted.

    Invaders from the Infinite

    John Wood Campbell
  • These things, Gentlemen, are printed now-a-days; they are printed at Paris, one of the metropolises of thought!

    The Heavenly Father Ernest Naville
British Dictionary definitions for metropolises


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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for metropolises



"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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