conurbation

noun
con·​ur·​ba·​tion | \ˌkä-(ˌ)nər-ˈbā-shən \

Definition of conurbation 

: an aggregation or continuous network of urban communities

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Did You Know?

When Sir Patrick Geddes, a Scottish biologist turned sociologist, sat down in 1915 to write Cities in Evolution, a work on urban planning, he needed a word. How should he refer to thickly populated regions consisting of a sprawling range of cities clustered together? "Some name, then, for these city-regions, these town aggregates, is wanted…. What of 'conurbations'?" he asked rhetorically early on in his work. For his coinage, Geddes combined urbs (the Latin word for "city," already familiar in urban and suburb) with the Latin prefix con- ("together") and the English noun suffix -ation. It turned out that his word suited English speakers just fine-we've been using it ever since.

Examples of conurbation in a Sentence

a conurbation of cities along the river

Recent Examples on the Web

Beyond these coastal conurbations, the outlook is dimmer. The Economist, "China is trying to turn itself into a country of 19 super-regions," 21 June 2018 This isn’t an entirely new thing; most German conurbations already have Umwelt (environmental) zones that bar cars incapable of passing the Euro 4 emissions test from entering them without risk of a sizable fine. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "Alles Ist Verboten! German Court Says Cities Should Ban Diesel Engines," 27 Feb. 2018 In Montana, 20 miles or so off Highway 90, lies the minuscule conurbation of Wilsall, population 178 as of 2010. Adam Rutherford, The Atlantic, "A New History of the First Peoples in the Americas," 3 Oct. 2017 The Phoenix-Scottsdale-Tempe conurbation photographed from the International Space Station in 2006. Brandon Keim, WIRED, "Environmental Gap Widens in Phoenix," 1 Dec. 2011

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conurbation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of conurbation

1915, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for conurbation

com- + Latin urb-, urbs city

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Dictionary Entries near conurbation

Conulariida

conule

conundrum

conurbation

conure

Conuropsis

conusable

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Time Traveler for conurbation

The first known use of conurbation was in 1915

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More Definitions for conurbation

conurbation

noun

English Language Learners Definition of conurbation

: a large area consisting of cities or towns that have grown so that there is very little room between them

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More from Merriam-Webster on conurbation

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Britannica English: Translation of conurbation for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about conurbation

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