Definition of metic in US English:



  • A foreigner living in an ancient Greek city who had some of the privileges of citizenship.

    • ‘Some metics, immigrant groups, and national minorities have not mobilized to demand minority rights, and even when they have, some Western democracies continue to resist these demands.’
    • ‘But Nietschze made a bad mistake to think Dionysian madness is the answer; such oppositions - unlike metic subversion - only prop each other up and keep the whole show on the road.’
    • ‘An important distinction is that between foreigners passing through and metics settled in the polis.’
    • ‘The purpose of the Panathenaia, especially the quadrennial version, was to reinforce the unity of all members of the community of Athens, ‘male and female, young and old, rich and poor, citizen and metic alike.’’
    • ‘Various subdivisions and subgroups in Athens also had numerous other cultic associations - metics from Phoenicia and metics from Corinth, for instance, had their own cults.’
    • ‘They were not metics, or the second-class citizens of the Occupied Territories.’
    • ‘His most famous pupil was the Athenian politician Demetrius of Phalerum, through whose influence he, though a metic (resident foreigner), was allowed to own property.’
    • ‘One might question, though, his assumptions concerning proxenia and their impact on his assertion that most traders were xenoi rather than metics.’
    • ‘They sought to tax outsiders, such as metics or subject territories.’


Early 19th century: formed irregularly from Greek metoikos, from meta- (expressing change) + oikos ‘dwelling’.