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Saint Ignatius High School

Etymology Word of the Week

Director of Admissions Pat O'Rourke '90, a self-proclaimed "word nerd," brings you his Etymology Word of the Week. Every other week he presents an online Etymology lesson just for fun!

Etymology Word of the Week – As some of you know, in addition to working in the Admissions Office, I also teach Latin at Saint Ignatius and am something of a "word nerd."  Thus, each week, I’ll sneak a vocabulary word (sometimes derived from Latin, sometimes not) into the e-blast.  Here, then. is this week’s edition of the Etymology Word of the Week.  


Definition: “A very large city; an urban complex, usually comprising several large towns.”  

Origin/Derivation: From the Greek megas meaning “great” and polis meaning “city.”      

Related Words/Phrases:  megalodon (prehistoric shark - literally “large tooth”), megalomania (similar to egomania), megalith (huge stone); acropolis (elevated city), cosmopolitan (world citizen), metropolitan, Neapolitan (from Naples - literally “new city”), necropolis (city of the dead), politics, police, Tripoli (3 cities), Constantinople (Constantine’s city), Annapolis, Indianapolis, etc, etc.