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

Mexico City also was also scheduled to hold its annual earthquake drill, with sirens set to blare across the metropolis following a moment of silence for quake victims. Peter Orsi, Fox News, "Mexico commemorates victims of deadly quakes," 19 Sep. 2018 Occupying more than 14,000 acres, the pop-up metropolis features distinctive neighborhoods, extensive dining and entertainment, even a small airport. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "The Vanishing City," 13 Aug. 2018 The tsunami warning was canceled after no large waves were detected near the metropolis of 400,000, where 54% of Alaska’s population lives. Jim Carlton, WSJ, "Magnitude 7.0 Earthquake Rocks Anchorage," 30 Nov. 2018 But beyond its role as a representation of England, the city is also a global metropolis where the world’s cultures unfold in a sprawling patchwork of diverse neighborhoods. Elizabeth Wellington, Vogue, "Where to Find London’s Hidden French Side," 7 Jan. 2019 Sean Hannity, live from New York City, the metropolis to the North is with us right now. Fox News, "Tucker: Brett Kavanaugh and the hypocrisy of the Democratic Party," 18 Sep. 2018 Manaus, a bustling metropolis in the heart of the Amazon, is more than 2,400 miles from the author’s native Belo Horizonte, and it’s where the book begins during the 2014 World Cup. Bruno Garcez, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘The Third Bank of the River,’ by Chris Feliciano Arnold," 14 June 2018 Image With big dreams come rude awakenings, and the dreams that built a thriving metropolis in a remote corner of Southern California were bigger than most. Jennifer Szalai, New York Times, "In ‘The Mirage Factory,’ a Thriving Los Angeles Born From Humble Beginnings," 23 May 2018 But impressive as this sounds, citizens of China's great metropolises won't be putting away their pollution masks just yet. Arthur Wyns, USA TODAY, "Life behind a mask — China's cities still choking on smog," 18 Jan. 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

11 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for metropolis

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

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More Definitions for metropolis



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 affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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