Definition of metropolitan in English:



  • 1Relating to or denoting a metropolis:

    ‘the Boston metropolitan area’
    • ‘But he said primary schools in Rochdale still received less money than the schools in other metropolitan boroughs and the council was looking to increase the amount.’
    • ‘This will help the rural people from these villages to take their products to nearby towns and metropolitan cities where there is a market for their products.’
    • ‘The options for this include picking specific cities, metropolitan areas, or even a distance radius from a specific point.’
    • ‘For decades, center cities of metropolitan areas were regarded as the growth engines of their suburbs.’
    • ‘Water restrictions were imposed on Saturday in the metropolitan area and in towns and properties fed by the Goldfields pipeline.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Print and framing shops can be found in every mall, many strip shopping centers, and tucked away in old city shopping areas in every metropolitan community in America.’
    • ‘Towns in metropolitan areas, however, have been able to take advantage of this by consolidating their authority over discrete services.’
    • ‘But yesterday, in a stroke, a perhaps equivalent population was subtracted from the city and the metropolitan area.’
    • ‘Leeds is a city in the metropolitan borough of the City of Leeds in West Yorkshire in the north of England.’
    • ‘Two hundred surveys also were sent to people randomly selected from the Internet, from small rural areas to large metropolitan cities.’
    • ‘Both the core city and the surrounding metropolitan area lost population in the 2000 census.’
    • ‘I understand that this Index works best in smaller towns and more rural areas away from metropolitan conurbations.’
    • ‘Kansas City is a metropolitan area with very clear racial dividing lines.’
    • ‘Such a letter is calculated to mislead, purposely or otherwise, those who are not familiar with Bradford City or its metropolitan area.’
    • ‘The military also was used increasingly in domestic law enforcement, even extending to a regular military presence in high-crime areas of major metropolitan cities.’
    • ‘Several studies have found that violent crime is higher in American metropolitan areas where the distribution of income is more unequal.’
    • ‘It is now possible to transfer a licence from a rural area to metropolitan and city centre locations for the purpose of establishing a new licensed premises.’
    • ‘Serving larger school districts in metropolitan areas can also require careful logistical planning for deliveries.’
    • ‘The metropolitan grouping reflects urban areas and a fully functioning tiered health care system with ready access to tertiary care.’
    civic, civil, metropolitan, urban, city, town, borough, community, district, local, council, public
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  • 2Relating to or denoting the parent state of a colony:

    ‘metropolitan Spain’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And whereas, its decision made, the Assembly passed on to pressing metropolitan business, the impact on the colony itself was volcanic.’
    • ‘Algeria had been conquered in 1830 and transformed into a French colony administered as if it were metropolitan France.’
    • ‘In some cases the laws were enacted by the local society, including resident slaveowners; in others it was imposed by the metropolitan government to control slavery in distant colonies.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A number of overseas possessions remain part of metropolitan France and send MPs to the national assembly.’
    • ‘The French considered Algeria to be part of metropolitan France, not a colony, and over a million French citizens lived there.’
    • ‘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.’
    state, national, federal, government
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  • 3Christian Church
    Relating to or denoting a metropolitan or his see:

    ‘a metropolitan bishop’
    • ‘A patriarchal election council chose metropolitan bishop Kiril of Plovdiv for Bulgarian patriarch.’
    • ‘In the Catholic Church, metropolitan priests generally outnumber Antillean.’
    • ‘By the 5th cent. ad the title was applied to the occupants of sees of major ecclesiastical importance, particularly those of metropolitan bishops.’
    • ‘The churches in both kingdoms acknowledged the Coptic patriarch as their head and he consecrated their metropolitan bishops.’
    • ‘The new prosperity of the cities made the metropolitan bishops significant figures in art patronage in the 13th and 14th centuries.’


  • 1Christian 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’
    • ‘Specifically, the Board urges a revival of the oversight role of metropolitans, i.e., archbishops overseeing bishops in their province.’
    • ‘Bishops and metropolitans lead the 128 dioceses.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘By an anomaly, however, none of the ten bishops had the status of archbishop or metropolitan.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 2An inhabitant of a metropolis:

    ‘a sophisticated metropolitan’
    • ‘I couldn't very well leave a lady at such a time. We small towners are yet to learn the impersonality of metropolitans.’
    • ‘Lewis in terms of his art was a metropolitan in search of the visceral and his analysis of the life force was forensic in its intensity.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘No, the outsize and eccentric figures of the Empire have passed into history, and now the establishment is filled with dull corporatist metropolitans.’
    • ‘These days, of course, such ideas seem to us mature metropolitans ludicrous and paleolithic.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I'm sure the good folks out in the sticks have known plenty of rich metropolitans in their day.’
    • ‘They're just like the Irish metropolitans in that respect.’
    • ‘Then I thought about what other metropolitans have experienced in terms of transportation and population problems along with hazards to the environment.’
    • ‘Who now remembers the days in that glorious decade, the 1990s, when all self-respecting metropolitans felt the need to bluff their way in conversations about ‘postmodernism’?’


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