metropolis(redirected from Metropolises)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.
(1) In ancient Greece, a city (polis) that had colonies. Although it had no power over its colonies, a metropolis protected them and acted as the arbiter of their disputes.
(2) In the period of colonial conquests, a state that has colonies, usually overseas. The political and legal ties between a metropolis and its colonies vary. Thus, the colony may be a protectorate or a vassal state of the metropolis, or it may be incorporated into the metropolitan power. But essentially, these relations always involve the domination, subjugation, and exploitation of the colonies by the metropolis.
(3) In some states, such as Canada, the central city of a province or region. Sometimes the capital or central city of a state is also called a metropolis.