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Metropolitan generally refers to a city and the surrounding urbanized area. The term originates in ancient Greece, where a city that had established colonies in other lands was known as a metropolis (meter “mother” + polis “city”; literally the mother city, a city that had offspring). In the Middle Ages, the metropolitan was the seat of the archbishop, with jurisdiction over a specified patriarchal canonical territory. By the nineteenth century, the term metropolitan was commonly used in naming new municipal services such as the Metropolitan Police (in London) and civic institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, although the original meaning of the term (a city with colonial territories) has remained in use in France. In the last century, metropolitan was used to signify ...

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