Definition of metropolitan in English:

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Pronunciation: /mɛtrəˈpɒlɪt(ə)n/


1Relating to or denoting a metropolis: the Boston metropolitan area
More example sentences
  • Several studies have found that violent crime is higher in American metropolitan areas where the distribution of income is more unequal.
  • Yet the change is not happening evenly and is much more apparent and much more rapid in cities, especially in metropolitan areas and on the two coasts.
  • Water restrictions were imposed on Saturday in the metropolitan area and in towns and properties fed by the Goldfields pipeline.
2Relating to or denoting the parent state of a colony: metropolitan Spain
More example sentences
  • In monarchies and in democracies, in metropolitan Europe as well as in colonial South Asia, the state management of forests has met bitter and continuous opposition.
  • While bureaucracy and inertia ruled in metropolitan France, service in the colonies offered challenge and responsibility, providing a shaft of light which helped illuminate the army even in its darkest days.
  • For the idea of development which was framed in the nineteenth century at the metropolitan centre of Europe as well as in the peripheral colonies, had this object at its centre from the outset.
3 Christian Church Relating to or denoting a metropolitan or his see: a metropolitan bishop
More example sentences
  • The churches in both kingdoms acknowledged the Coptic patriarch as their head and he consecrated their metropolitan bishops.
  • By the 5th cent. ad the title was applied to the occupants of sees of major ecclesiastical importance, particularly those of metropolitan bishops.
  • In the Catholic Church, metropolitan priests generally outnumber Antillean.


1 Christian Church A bishop having authority over the bishops of a province, in particular (in Orthodox Churches) one ranking above archbishop and below patriarch: the post of Metropolitan of Moldavia and Bucovina [as title]: Metropolitan Aleksei of Leningrad and Novgorod
More example sentences
  • Specifically, the Board urges a revival of the oversight role of metropolitans, i.e., archbishops overseeing bishops in their province.
  • I grabbed his hand, bowed low, and kissed the great ring of the archbishop of Chicago, metropolitan of Illinois, and cardinal priest of the Roman Catholic Church.
  • Archbishop David Crawley, metropolitan of British Columbia and the Yukon, said that two cases were about to come before the Supreme Court in British Columbia.
2An inhabitant of a metropolis: a sophisticated metropolitan
More example sentences
  • Then I thought about what other metropolitans have experienced in terms of transportation and population problems along with hazards to the environment.
  • I don't mean to suggest that England is a land of trendy metropolitans, but even so it is inconceivable that our political and social debates should be hijacked by religious zealots.
  • So many Dubs on a May Monday in Killarney - surely proof that as far the metropolitans are concerned it's still Kerry for the holidays.



sense 1 of the noun.
Example sentences
  • The Russian Orthodox Church was originally one of the metropolitanates of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
  • Outside Romania the Patriarchate has three metropolitanates, one archdiocese and two dioceses.
  • That metropolitanate was re-established in the Republic of Moldova by the Romanian Orthodox Church in 1992.


Example sentences
  • The film uses homosexuality to examine a rapidly changing society within Russia, where modernity and metropolitanism are colliding with traditional culture.
  • This attitude condemns Sydney, with all its potential for stylish metropolitanism, to dozy provincialism.
  • Under the ‘commissioners’ form of Allegheny County government, any talk of similar measures has been repeatedly countered with charges of ‘metropolitanism.’


sense 1 of the noun.
Example sentences
  • Thus Milan, residence of the emperors during the 4th cent., became the metropolitan see for much of northern Italy, and Arles, capital of Gaul and residence of the Roman governor, attained metropolitical status in 417.
  • It is therefore surprising that there was an attempt to subject it to metropolitical jurisdiction in 1304.
  • The Church of Moscow, made metropolitical, was established, so to speak, on a Rock.


Late Middle English (in the ecclesiastical sense): from late Latin metropolitanus, from Greek mētropolitēs 'citizen of a mother state', from mētropolis (see metropolis).

Words that rhyme with metropolitan

cosmopolitan, megalopolitan, Neapolitan

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: metro|pol¦itan

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