me·​trop·​o·​lis | \mə-ˈträ-p(ə-)ləs \

Definition of metropolis 

1 : the chief or capital city of a country, state, or region

2 : the city or state of origin of a colony (as of ancient Greece)

3a : a city regarded as a center of a specified activity an industrial metropolis a cattle metropolis

b : a large important city one of Europe's great metropolises

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Examples of metropolis in a Sentence

a big, teeming metropolis where ambitious people from all over come to make their mark

Recent Examples on the Web

The rise of Detroit, the metropolis, throughout the 20th century mirrored the economic success of the thriving local car industry. Tamara Warren, The Verge, "Inside Detroit’s crumbling train station that Ford plans to transform into a mobility lab," 20 June 2018 Singapore has the advantage of being a relatively short plane ride from North Korea, while still being a gleaming, hyper-modern metropolis that offers top-class facilities. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, "Trump and Kim will meet in Singapore. Here’s why.," 10 May 2018 All are widely exported, to every major metropolis, from New York to Tokyo. Lindsey Tramuta, Glamour, "The Best French Brands You Haven't Heard of Yet," 19 Apr. 2018 Indeed, James Joyce and the U.S. military would seem to agree that the best way to make sense of the modern metropolis is to document even the most inconsequential details. Geoff Manaugh, The Atlantic, "The City That Remembers Everything," 23 Feb. 2018 In its heyday, the newspaper was an essential institution in the city, helping bind together a vast metropolis. Tim Arango, New York Times, "Los Angeles Times, Searching for Stability, Names Norman Pearlstine Top Editor," 18 June 2018 The novelty of the foreign flux has led to dramatic changes in Moscow, a great, hulking metropolis of 13 million not celebrated for its customer service. Washington Post, "Can Russia, with its history of racist attacks and hooligans, put on a World Cup welcome?," 12 June 2018 The market is propitious, yet a metropolis’s crackle comes from the variety of its people and the intertwining of disparate lives. Justin Davidson, Daily Intelligencer, "Downtown Nashville Is Supposed to Be the Model of the Walkable 21st-Century City. I’m Not So Sure.," 8 June 2018 Minotians once travelled to the Chinatown in Winnipeg, Manitoba—not exactly a metropolis—to shop, says Josh Wolsky, an alderman. The Economist, "How a small town in North Dakota got its groove back," 7 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'metropolis.' 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 metropolis

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for metropolis

Middle English, from Late Latin, from Greek mētropolis, from mētr-, mētēr mother + polis city — more at mother, police

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Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for metropolis

The first known use of metropolis was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of metropolis

: a very large or important city


me·​trop·​o·​lis | \mə-ˈträ-pə-ləs \

Kids Definition of metropolis

1 : the chief or capital city of a country, state, or region

2 : a large or important city

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Comments on metropolis

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


something that serves to warn or remind

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