[ meg-uh-lop-uh-lis ]
/ ˌmɛg əˈlɒp ə lɪs /


a very large city.
an urban region, especially one consisting of several large cities and suburbs that adjoin each other.

Nearby words

  1. megalomaniacal,
  2. megalomelia,
  3. megalopenis,
  4. megalophthalmus,
  5. megalopodia,
  6. megalopolitan,
  7. megalops,
  8. megalopsia,
  9. megalopteran,
  10. megalosaur

Also megapolis.

Origin of megalopolis

First recorded in 1825–35; megalo- + polis Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for megalopolis

British Dictionary definitions for megalopolis


/ (ˌmɛɡəˈlɒpəlɪs) /


an urban complex, usually comprising several large towns
Derived Formsmegalopolitan (ˌmɛɡələˈpɒlɪtən), adjective, noun

Word Origin for megalopolis

C20: megalo- + Greek 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 megalopolis



1832, from comb. form of Greek megas (genitive megalou) "great" (see mickle) + polis "city" (see polis). The word was used in classical times as an epithet of great cities (Athens, Syracuse, Alexandria), and it also was the name of a former city in Arcadia.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for megalopolis


[ (meg-uh-lop-uh-lis) ]

A vast stretch of developed industrial urban area, such as the East Coast of the United States from Boston to Washington, D.C., or the Ruhr Valley in Germany. Megalopolis is from Greek words meaning “great city.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.