[ koz-mohs, -muhs ]
/ ˈkɒz moʊs, -məs /
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noun, plural cos·mos, cos·mos·es for 2, 4.
the world or universe regarded as an orderly, harmonious system.
a complete, orderly, harmonious system.
order; harmony.
any composite plant of the genus Cosmos, of tropical America, some species of which, as C. bipannatus and C. sulphureus, are cultivated for their showy ray flowers.
(initial capital letter)Also Kos·mos. Aerospace. one of a long series of Soviet satellites that have been launched into orbit around the earth.
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Origin of cosmos

First recorded in 1150–1200; Middle English, from Greek kósmos “order, form, arrangement, the world or universe”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is the cosmos flower?

A cosmos is a flower with brightly colored, raylike petals.

The name cosmos can be used for any plant in the genus Cosmos. The plural can be cosmos or cosmoses.

Cosmoses are popular in gardens. Two of the best-known species are Cosmos bipannatus and Cosmos sulphureus (known as sulphur cosmos), both of which are cultivated for their flowers.

Cosmos flowers vary widely in color. Varieties include yellow, orange, pink, and purple. In some varieties, the petals are notched at the tips.

Cosmos are one of the October birth flowers (a flower that’s associated with a particular month in the same way as a birthstone).

Example: The display at the botanical garden featured flashy orange cosmoses.

Where does cosmos come from?

The first records of the word cosmos in reference to the plant or flower come from the 1800s. It comes from a Greek word meaning “ornament,” in reference to its showy flowers. The word cosmos in reference to the universe derives from the same word, which also means “order, form, arrangement”—this word was used to refer to the universe due to the perception of its harmonious order.

Cosmos plants are native to tropical regions of the Americas, especially Mexico. Ornamental cosmoses, such as the varieties C. bipannatus and C. sulphureus, are annual, meaning they complete their life cycle in a single growing season.

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What are some other forms related to cosmos?

  • cosmoses (plural)
  • cosmos (alternate plural)

What are some words that share a root or word element with cosmos?

What are some words that often get used in discussing cosmos?

How is cosmos used in real life?

Cosmoses are popular in gardens.

Try using cosmos!

True or False? 

When it refers to the plant or flower, the plural of cosmos can be cosmos or cosmoses.

How to use cosmos in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cosmos (1 of 2)

/ (ˈkɒzmɒs) /

the world or universe considered as an ordered system
any ordered system
harmony; order
plural -mos or -moses any tropical American plant of the genus Cosmos, cultivated as garden plants for their brightly coloured flowers: family Asteraceae (composites)

Word Origin for cosmos

C17: from Greek kosmos order, world, universe

British Dictionary definitions for cosmos (2 of 2)

/ (ˈkɒzmɒs) /

astronautics any of various types of Soviet satellite, including Cosmos 1 (launched 1962) and nearly 2000 subsequent satellites
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for cosmos

[ kŏzməs, kŏzmōs′ ]

The universe, especially when considered as an orderly and harmonious whole.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.