1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Metropolis
METROPOLIS (Gr. μήτηρ, mother, πόλις, city), properly a mother-city, and so the name of the parent state from which colonies were founded in ancient Greece (see Greece, sect. History, Ancient). The word was used in post-classical Latin for the chief city of a province, the seat of the government, and in particular ecclesiastically for the seat or see of a metropolitan bishop (see Metropolitan). It is thus used now for the capital of a country, which contains the various official buildings of the administrative departments, the Houses of Parliament, &c. In the case of London, the term “metropolitan” is sometimes applied to the whole area including the “City of London,” e.g. “Metropolitan Asylums Board”; and sometimes, as in “Metropolitan Police,” excludes the City, which has its own police force (see London).