The term MEGALOPOLIS combines mega (Greek for “big”) and polis (Greek for “city”) and has been used both to connote any very large city or city region and as a place name for particular large cities. The emergence in 19th- and 20th-century capitalist economies of cities that were both large and very rapidly growing led to a considerable literature on the opportunities and particularly the dangers that those cities presented. The coining of new terms to describe these cities reflected the feeling that they were unprecedented in scale, character, and significance.

Earliest uses of the Term

The 1828 edition of Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language records the earliest known use of megalopolis, which it defined in terms of size and importance as “a chief city; ...

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