meg·​a·​lop·​o·​lis | \ ˌme-gə-ˈlä-pə-ləs How to pronounce megalopolis (audio) \

Definition of megalopolis

1 : a very large city
2 : a thickly populated region centering in a metropolis or embracing several metropolises

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from megalopolis

megalopolitan \ ˌme-​gə-​lō-​ˈpä-​lə-​tən How to pronounce megalopolitan (audio) \ noun or adjective

Did You Know?

A "large city" named Megalopolis was founded in Greece in 371 B.C. to help defend the region called Arcadia against the city-state of Sparta. Though a stadium seating 20,000 was built there, indicating the city's impressive size for its time, Megalopolis today has only about 5,000 people. Social scientists now identify 10 megalopolises in the U.S., each with more than 10 million people. The one on the eastern seaboard that stretches from Boston to Washington, D.C., where the densely populated cities seem to flow into each other all along the coast, is now home to over 50 million people. But it's easily surpassed by the Japanese megalopolis that includes Tokyo, with more than 80 million inhabitants.

Examples of megalopolis in a Sentence

what was once a series of discrete towns interspersed with countryside is now one vast megalopolis

Recent Examples on the Web

Novaex recently broke ground at its first theme park that will use the intellectual property of Magic Castle at a site near Guangzhou, a megalopolis in rich southern province Guangdong. Dominique Fong, WSJ, "Theme Park Developments in China Hit Crossroads: Real or Pixie Dust?," 31 July 2018 The Lobby Lounge and Bar at the Ritz-Carlton is a favorite Tokyo skybar, overlooking the twinkling megalopolis from its perch on the 45th floor. Don’t be fooled by the generic-sounding name. Melinda Joe, Condé Nast Traveler, "20 Best Bars in Tokyo," 27 Feb. 2018 At a clothing shop in Turkey’s megalopolis late last week, there were few customers but Esra Yildirim was still in a rush. Yeliz Candemir, WSJ, "Turkish Currency Slide Poses a Political Challenge to Erdogan," 30 May 2018 Rick, how much will this storm affect the megalopolis, from Boston, New York, Philadelphia, D.C., Richmond? Fox News, "Nation marks 17 years since attacks of Sept. 11," 12 Sep. 2018 But as the megalopolis grew, the zoo became surrounded by an urban sprawl of busy avenues with honking buses and screeching cars near the animal enclosures, where on a recent day a solitary lion spent his time chasing his tail in circles. Luis Andres Henao, Fox News, "Giraffe, rhino deaths raise alarm at former Buenos Aires zoo," 22 Aug. 2018 Though Wagner was wrong to predict that Vienna would become such a city, his thinking about infinite urban expansion can easily be applied to megalopolises in modern-day Asia. A. J. Goldmann, WSJ, "How Otto Wagner Made Vienna Modern," 12 June 2018 Many Vermonters have mobilized to oppose his vision of a megalopolis of 1 million people, nearly twice the state’s current population. Brian Macquarrie,, "Preservation group places small Vermont towns on ‘watch status’," 26 June 2018 Finally, modern technology allows cities to reach megalopolis sizes by our day. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "One GIF Shows How the World's Biggest City Shifted Throughout History," 22 Dec. 2016

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

See More

First Known Use of megalopolis

circa 1828, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about megalopolis

Statistics for megalopolis

Last Updated

16 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for megalopolis

The first known use of megalopolis was circa 1828

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for megalopolis



English Language Learners Definition of megalopolis

: a very large city
: an area that includes a large city or several large cities

More from Merriam-Webster on megalopolis

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for megalopolis Encyclopedia article about megalopolis

Comments on megalopolis

What made you want to look up megalopolis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a device or gadget

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!