1530s, "seat of a metropolitan bishop," from Late Latin metropolis, which is from Greek (see metropolitan (n.)). Meaning "chief town or capital city of a province" is attested from 1580s; the earlier word for this in English was metropol (late 14c.) or metropolitan (mid-15c.). Related: Metropolitical "pertaining to or belonging to a metropolis."
early 15c., "belonging to an (ecclesiastical) metropolis," from Late Latin metropolitanus, from Greek metropolites "resident of a city," from metropolis (see metropolitan (n.)). Meaning "residing in or connected with a chief or capital city" is from 1550s. In reference to underground city railways, it is attested from 1867.
"a metropolis; a very large, heavily populated urban complex," 1832, from Greek megas (genitive megalou) "great" (see mickle) + polis "city" (see polis). The word was used in classical times as an epithet of great cities (Athens, Syracuse, Alexandria), and it also was the name of a former city in Arcadia. Related: Megalopolitan.
"to spoil, ruin," 1812, slang, from queer (adj.). Related: Queered; queering. Earlier it meant "to puzzle, ridicule, deride, cheat" (1790). To queer the pitch (1846) is in reference to the patter of an itinerant tradesman or showman (see pitch (n.1)).
These wanderers, and those who are still seen occasionally in the back streets of the metropolis, are said to 'go a-pitching ;' the spot they select for their performance is their 'pitch,' and any interruption of their feats, such as an accident, or the interference of a policeman, is said to 'queer the pitch,'—in other words, to spoil it. [Thomas Frost, "Circus Life and Circus Celebrities," London, 1875]
mid-14c., "bishop having general superintendency over other bishops of his province," from Late Latin metropolitanus, from Greek metropolis "mother city" (from which others have been colonized), parent state of a colony," also "capital city," and, in Ecclesiastical Greek, "see of a metropolitan bishop," from meter "mother" (see mother (n.1)) + polis "city" (see polis).
In the early church, the bishop of a municipal capital of a province or eparchy, who had general superintendence over the bishops in his province. In modern Catholic use, an archbishop who has bishops under his authority; in the Greek church still the bishop of a municipal capital of a province, ranking above an archbishop.
also coffeehouse, "house of entertainment where guests are supplied with coffee and other refreshments," 1610s, from coffee + house (n.). In late 17c. London they were important political centers, serving as clubs did for a later generation; each sect and party had a chosen one of its own.
The coffee-house must not be dismissed with a cursory mention. It might indeed, at that time , have been not improperly called a most important political institution. No Parliament had sat for years. The municipal council of the city had ceased to speak the sense of the citizens. Public meetings, harangues, resolutions, and the rest of the modern machinery of agitation had not yet come into fashion. Nothing resembling the modern newspaper existed. In such circumstances, the coffee-were the chief organs through which the public opinion of the metropolis vented itself. [Macaulay, "History of England"]
early 14c., "area outside a town or city," whether agricultural or residential but most frequently residential, from Old French suburbe "suburb of a town," from Latin suburbium "an outlying part of a city" (especially Rome), from sub "below, near" (see sub-) + urbs (genitive urbis) "city" (see urban). Glossed in Old English as underburg. Just beyond the reach of municipal jurisdiction, suburbs had a bad reputation in 17c. England, especially those of London, and suburban had a sense of "inferior, debased, licentious" (as in suburban sinner, slang for "loose woman, prostitute"). By 1817, the tinge had shifted to "of inferior manners and narrow views." Compare also French equivalent faubourg.
[T]he growth of the metropolis throws vast numbers of people into distant dormitories where ... life is carried on without the discipline of rural occupations and without the cultural resources that the Central District of the city still retains. [Lewis Mumford, 1922]
1570s, "come side-by-side or face-to-face with," for any reason, from French accoster "move up to, come alongside" (Old French acoster), from Late Latin accostare "come up to the side," from assimilated form of Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + costa "a rib, side" (see coast (n.)). Now usually in the sense "approach and speak to" (1610s). Also picked up as the verb for a prostitute's solicitation of a customer (1812). Related: Accosted; accosting.
Infamous houses, he states, are in all parts of the metropolis, but most numerous in small streets, leading from public thoroughfares. "Some of them adjoin churches, chapels, and even the courts of law. There is one locality in which vicious women accost persons as they issue from the door of a chapel on the Sabbath. In another situation, the officiating clergyman while in the pulpit, is in a position to witness the proceedings in a contiguous brothel." [Michael Ryan, M.D., "Prostitution in London," 1839]
"mortuary, place where bodies of persons found dead are taken to be claimed by family or friends," 1821, from French Morgue, originally a specific building in Paris where bodies were exposed for identification:
There is, in the most populous part of the French metropolis, an establishment entitled La Morgue, destined for the reception and exposition of bodies drowned in the Seine, and caught in nets, which are placed in different parts of the river for that purpose. The object of this exposition is, that the deceased may be recognised by their friends or relatives, and receive the rights of sepulture accordingly. The Morgue is open at all hours of the day, to passengers of every description, and often displays at a time, five or six horrible carcasses stretched, without covering, on an inclined platform, and subjected to the promiscuous gaze of the mob. ["American Review," January 1811]
Before that it was the place where new prisoners were displayed to keepers to establish their identification. Thus the name is believed to be probably from French morgue "haughtiness, pride," originally "a sad expression, solemn look," from Old French morguer "look solemnly," from Vulgar Latin *murricare "to make a face, pout," from *murrum "muzzle, snout." The 1768 Dictionnaire Royal François-Anglois Et Anglois-François defines French morgue both as "A proud, big, haughty or stately look, stare, surliness, or surly look" and "A little gratel room wherein a new prisoner is set, and must continue some hours, that the Jailer's ordinary servants may the better take notice of his face."
Adopted 1880s as a general term in U.S., replacing earlier dead house, etc. In newspaper slang, "collection of pre-written obituary material of living persons" (1898), thence extended generally to "library of clips, photos, etc." (1918).