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

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Other Words from megalopolis

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

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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

The menace might thus be diverted from, say, a megalopolis, or made to miss Earth altogether. The Editors, Scientific American, "Readers Respond to "Is Time an Illusion?" and Other Articles," 1 Oct. 2010 Complexity and variability in the messy megalopolises of emerging markets (because of the lack of formal addresses, say, and standstill traffic) spur innovation. The Economist, "DistributionAmazon and Alibaba are pacesetters of the next supply-chain revolution," 12 July 2019 The coastal megalopolis continues to pump too much water from its aquifers, causing the land to collapse by almost a foot a year in some places. Lydia Horne, WIRED, "The App Creeping on Your IG Location, Jakarta’s Insurance Crisis, and More News," 19 July 2019 The winner of the Istanbul mayor’s race is still uncertain after two weeks of counting and recounting, opening up the possibility of a tense legal tussle in a megalopolis polarized over President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party. David Gauthier-villars, WSJ, "Tension Rises Over Disputed Istanbul Vote Count," 14 Apr. 2019 The megalopolis was the launchpad for his political career in the 1990s, is home to a fifth of Turkey’s 82 million people and boasts an annual budget of $10 billion. David Gauthier-villars, WSJ, "Erdogan’s Political House, Once Invincible, Shows Cracks Ahead of Istanbul Rerun," 20 June 2019 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

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.

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First Known Use of megalopolis

circa 1828, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for megalopolis

Last Updated

19 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for megalopolis

The first known use of megalopolis was circa 1828

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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).


to spread over or through

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