me·​trop·​o·​lis | \ mə-ˈträ-p(ə-)ləs How to pronounce metropolis (audio) \

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

Examine the dramatic history of Old Delhi, and learn how the walled city became one of the largest metropolises in the world. National Geographic, "India High School Expedition," 17 June 2019 In his gritty images, all taken with an iPhone, Markov documents ordinary life in small towns far removed from the grandeur of the country's buzzing metropolises. Michael Hardy, WIRED, "Gritty Postcards From the Russian Hinterland," 6 June 2019 The backdrop does look like the busy, layered metropolis of a futuristic film. Erin Florio, Condé Nast Traveler, "Currently Obsessed With: The Blade Runner Terrace at the Times Square Edition," 5 June 2019 The island nation, which made the leap from colonial port to bustling metropolis, is widely seen as the smaller but wealthier of the two countries. Annabelle Liang, The Seattle Times, "Singapore, Malaysia move to cool airspace and sea disputes," 8 Jan. 2019 Bird, which was founded in nearby Santa Monica just last year, has since expanded to numerous metropolises across the Golden State as well as cities in Oregon, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Missouri, and more. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Can cities ban e-scooters in the name of public safety? Bird says no way," 4 Nov. 2018 But his message of nonviolence was not enough to hold back the tide of rage that brought millions of dollars of damage to other major metropolises, including Chicago and Baltimore. Latoya Ruby Frazier, The Atlantic, "The Geography of Oppression," 3 Apr. 2018 If the measure passes, the City of Angles would be the largest American metropolis to bar the sale and production of the controversial product. Janine Puhak, Fox News, "Los Angeles council proposes banning fur sales, like West Hollywood and San Francisco," 2 Aug. 2018 The book takes place in Shanghai, a hybrid city – part frenetic-metropolis and part historical-monument, constantly morphed by both Chinese and global influences. Grace Z. Li, USA TODAY, "Chinese-American expat family drama sparks Lucy Tan's promising debut novel," 10 July 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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Statistics for metropolis

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

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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 How to pronounce metropolis (audio) \

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).


to take the place or position of

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