Definition of metropole in US English:



  • The parent state of a colony.

    • ‘The shadow that their great houses cast over nearby slave cabins reached as far as the distant metropoles, so that few were untouched by the planters' enormous presence.’
    • ‘Colonial architecture in India closely followed the developments in the metropole - but also sought, for greater legitimacy, inspiration from existing architecture in India, sometimes with quite unexpected results.’
    • ‘This is not to say that metropoles are not important.’
    • ‘Many writers have believed, however, that the modern European empires did involve such a systematic robbing of colonies to enrich the metropole.’
    • ‘These movements challenged the conditions under which racialized labor was available for exploitation in the former colonies as well as the metropoles.’
    • ‘Among their number were the metropoles of Greece and Rome, the traditional cultural colonizing powers.’
    • ‘It marks an important advance in the contemporary agenda of understanding the tensions of empire, of understanding causal linkages between conditions in the colonies and changes in imperial metropoles.’
    • ‘While her attempt to look beyond the metropole and relate French national identity to imperial identity is refreshing, the topic does not receive adequate treatment and would perhaps be better served in a separate work.’
    • ‘Alexander often confuses mother country with the metropole.’
    • ‘In a time of crisis, some asked, is the artist primarily responsible for undoing the taken-for-granted terrains of colonialism by recolonizing, in effect, the white minds of former metropoles?’
    • ‘Such products never gained a market in the metropole, but illustrate the variables involved in the transition of caffeine plant domesticates from pre-colonial regional products to cosmopolitan, global commodities.’
    • ‘In other words, in the new dispensation, Palestinians would be like immigrants to a wealthy metropole rather than nationals of a poor third-world country.’
    • ‘It resolves this inadequacy in the social by staging a ‘parallel’ existence between the metropole and its numerous offshoots in the colonies.’
    • ‘Returning to September 1959, he already felt that the only chance left for a French Algeria was action in the metropole.’
    • ‘For many of the newer immigrant writers from all corners, the United States has become what London and Paris were to postcolonial Anglophone and Francophone authors - a global metropole.’
    • ‘The bright lights illuminate a centre of finance and corporate decision making, wealthy consumers, political power, media influence and transport hub that have the metropole acting as a magnet to the rest of the UK.’
    • ‘For most African states, their strongest economic ties remain to former colonial metropoles, for whom they remain sources of inexpensive raw materials and virtually guaranteed export markets for manufactured goods.’
    • ‘These are, like the financial markets themselves, vertiginous ‘flows’; the airport, the corporate hotel, the Zagat-surveyed restaurant are the res extensa equivalences of the financial markets that stretch between metropoles.’
    • ‘Instead they built and lost an empire, and millions of former subjects came to the metropole to make their home as citizens.’
    • ‘The Cape metropole has approximately 3.2 million water users.’


Late 15th century: from Old French metropole, based on Greek mētēr, mētr- ‘mother’ + polis ‘city’ (see metropolis).