Kannapolis () is a city in Cabarrus and Rowan counties, in the U.S. state of North Carolina, northwest of Concord and northeast of Charlotte and is a suburb in the Charlotte metropolitan area. The city of Kannapolis was incorporated in 1984. The population was 42,625 at the 2010 census, which makes Kannapolis the 20th largest city in North Carolina. It is the home of the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers, the Class A baseball affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, and it is the hometown of the Earnhardt racing family. The center of the city is home to the North Carolina Research Campus, a public-private venture that focuses on food, nutrition, and biotech research.
Early meaning and usage of the city's name was a direct reference to Cannon Mills Corporation, or James William Cannon himself. Early published name variations include "Cannon-opolis" and "Cannapolis". A widely accepted origin of the word "Kannapolis" comes from the combination of the Greek words kanna (reeds, not looms) and polis (city), which some believed meant "City of Looms". Dr. Gary Freeze, Catawba College history and politics department chairman, said a Concord newspaper used the name "Cannon City" in 1906.