- a little world; a world in miniature (opposed to macrocosm).
- anything that is regarded as a world in miniature.
- human beings, humanity, society, or the like, viewed as an epitome or miniature of the world or universe.
Origin of microcosm
Examples from the Web for microcosm
But what happens at Winchester University is a microcosm of the cruel world beyond its be-crested gates.‘Dear White People’ Is the Race Movie America Didn’t Know It Needed
October 17, 2014
I begin to observe that it sounds as if Sully is in microcosm what Newman himself…but that is as far as I get.The Stacks: The Eyes of Winter: Paul Newman at 70
October 11, 2014
The way he approaches his sexual escapades is only a microcosm of his general douchebag approach to life.Adam Levine Is Off the Market… Thank God
July 21, 2014
Altogether, the monks, the Dukes, and the winemakers created a microcosm the influence of which can still be felt today.The Next UNESCO World Heritage Site: Burgundy’s Pinot Noir Country?
May 31, 2014
Or a microcosm of the debate that has consumed the nation and a harbinger of what is to come?Swing States Sit Out Obamacare: What Four Holdouts Are Doing
September 27, 2013
The microcosm of the human body is the lesser image of the macrocosm.Timaeus
Each particle is a microcosm, and faithfully renders the likeness of the world.Nature
Ralph Waldo Emerson
It is quite true that to a man with his gifts any microcosm will do for a macrocosm in miniature.Sir Walter Scott
Their organization was a microcosm of that of the entire empire.German Culture Past and Present
Ernest Belfort Bax
But I perceive now that my thought was a seed containing my omniscience in microcosm.Fantazius Mallare
- a miniature representation of something, esp a unit, group, or place regarded as a copy of a larger one
- man regarded as epitomizing the universe
Word Origin and History for microcosm
c.1200, mycrocossmos (modern form from early 15c.), "human nature, man viewed as the epitome of creation," literally "miniature world," from Middle French microcosme and in earliest use directly from Medieval Latin microcosmus, from Greek mikros "small" (see mica) + kosmos "world" (see cosmos). General sense of "a community constituting a world unto itself" is attested from 1560s. Related: Microcosmic. A native expression in the same sense was petty world (c.1600).
A representation of something on a much smaller scale. Microcosm means “small world,” and in the thought of the Renaissance, it was applied specifically to human beings, who were considered to be small-scale models of the universe, with all its variety and contradiction. (Compare macrocosm.)