Try Our Apps


Words You've Been Using Wrong


[me-truh-pol-i-tn] /ˌmɛ trəˈpɒl ɪ tn/
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 relating 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.
Origin of metropolitan
1300-50; Middle English < Late Latin mētropolītānus of, belonging to a metropolis < Greek mētropolī́t(ēs) (see metropolis, -ite1) + Latin -ānus -an
Related forms
metropolitanism, noun
intermetropolitan, adjective
nonmetropolitan, adjective, noun
supermetropolitan, adjective
unmetropolitan, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for metropolitan
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This statue, now in the metropolitan Museum, was found at Pompeii.

  • But, these are small oases, and I am soon back again in metropolitan Arcadia.

    The Uncommercial Traveller Charles Dickens
  • The exchange into the metropolitan monastery was an important event in Sergius's life.

    Father Sergius Leo Tolstoy
  • It was their metropolitan, Suburban, and Brooklyn rolled into one.

    Old Man Curry

    Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan
  • Over the metropolitan area, the scene was one beggaring description.

    Spawn of the Comet Harold Thompson Rich
British Dictionary definitions for metropolitan


of or characteristic of a metropolis
constituting a city and its suburbs: the metropolitan area
of, relating to, or designating an ecclesiastical metropolis
of or belonging to the home territories of a country, as opposed to overseas territories: metropolitan France
  1. (Eastern Churches) the head of an ecclesiastical province, ranking between archbishop and patriarch
  2. (Church of England) an archbishop
  3. (RC Church) an archbishop or bishop having authority in certain matters over the dioceses in his province
Derived Forms
metropolitanism, noun
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for metropolitan

early 15c., "bishop having oversight of other bishops," from Late Latin metropolitanus, from Greek metropolis "mother city" (from which others have been colonized), also "capital city," from meter "mother" (see mother (n.1)) + polis "city" (see polis).

In Greek, "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.


1540s, "belonging to an ecclesiastical metropolis," from Late Latin metropolitanus, from Greek metropolites "resident of a city," from metropolis (see metropolitan (n.)). Meaning "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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for metropolitan

Word Value for metropolitan

Scrabble Words With Friends