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  • IPA(key): /mɛˈtɹɒ.pə.leɪz/



  1. (rare) plural of metropolis
    In the sense of chief cities of colonies, especially in ancient Greece:
    • 1991, I M Drakonoff, Early Antiquity, p363
      We have already mentioned that some colonies eventually became metropoleis.
    • 1996, Alan K. Bowman, The Cambridge Ancient History, p684
      The role which the metropoleis developed as administrative centres for their nomes had always been inherent in the Ptolomeic system but the evidence suggests that it was much enhanced under the Romans.
    • 1998, Jane Rowlandson, Women and Society in Greek and Roman Egypt, p12
      The larger metropoleis were sizeable communities: Hermopolis had perhaps as many as 40,000 inhabitants, Oxyrhynchos maybe around 25,000.
    In the sense of any large, busy city, especially as the main city in an area or country or as distinguished from surrounding rural areas:
    • 1968, University of Texas at Austin, Southwestern Political and Social Science Association, Social Science Quarterly, p25
      Like bees to their hives, increasing numbers of Americans swarm into metropoleis.2
    • 1968, George M. Smerk, Readings in Urban Transportation, p172
      Our census takers, population experts, sociologists, economists and urban planners all point to the bigger and better “metropoleis” (to use the accepted plural) of the future.
    • 2003, ABIN Update: The Newsletter of the American Bundestag Intern Network, Volume 9, Issue 1 (Fall Edition), 2003 — “Metrosexual Beyond Borders”, p3
      The pop-culture term, “metrosexual”, coined in 1994 by author, Mark Simpson, meaning “a dandyish narcissist in love with not only himself, but also his urban lifestyle; a straight man who is in touch with his feminine side” (, is spouted with increasing frequency on the streets of America’s metropoleis.

Usage notesEdit

Metropoleis follows Ancient Greek inflection patterns (see πόλις). Metropolises follows English inflection patterns (the addition of -es to a noun ending in s). Metropoli incorrectly follows Latin inflection patterns (metropolis is a third declension noun with the nominative plural metropolēs; mētropolī is the dative or ablative singular).