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1. the main city, esp of a country or region; capital
2. the chief see in an ecclesiastical province



(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.

References in classic literature ?
For an instant he hesitated, and then again there rose before him the dreams of affluence which this great anthropoid would doubtless turn to realities once Paulvitch had landed him safely in some great metropolis like London.
At any time the destruction that had already singed the northwestern borders of the metropolis, and had annihilated Ealing and Kilburn, might strike among these houses and leave them smoking ruins.
One funeral is generally very much like another in this magnificent metropolis.
On the evening of the autumn day that had witnessed the martyrdom of two men of the Quaker persuasion, a Puritan settler was returning from the metropolis to the neighboring country town in which he resided.
One of his first acts was to make Salem, instead of Boston, the metropolis of Massachusetts, by summoning the General Court to meet there.
No adroit and veteran dinner hunter of a metropolis could have acquitted himself more knowingly.
She watched, with feverish restlessness, each steam-boat that passed the door on its busy way towards the metropolis, and met the servant each day at the gate of the lawn on his return from the city; but it was only to receive added disappointments.
Look at Honolulu, the metropolis of the Sandwich Islands
A mercantile house was established in the metropolis of Pennsylvania, with the avails of Mr.
Beware my Laura (she would often say) Beware of the insipid Vanities and idle Dissipations of the Metropolis of England; Beware of the unmeaning Luxuries of Bath and of the stinking fish of Southampton.
The metropolis, I imagine, is a pretty fair sample of the rest.
He had apparently once possessed a certain knowledge of English, and his accent was oddly tinged with the cockneyism of the British metropolis.

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