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microcosm

[ mahy-kruh-koz-uhm ]
/ ˈmaɪ krəˌkɒz əm /
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See synonyms for: microcosm / microcosmic on Thesaurus.com

noun

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.

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Also called mi·cro·cos·mos [mahy-kruh-koz-muhs, -mohs]. /ˌmaɪ krəˈkɒz məs, -moʊs/.

Origin of microcosm

1150–1200; Middle English microcosme<Medieval Latin mīcrocosmus<Greek mīkròs kósmos small world. See micro-, cosmos

OTHER WORDS FROM microcosm

mi·cro·cos·mic, mi·cro·cos·mi·cal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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British Dictionary definitions for microcosm

microcosm

microcosmos (ˌmaɪkrəʊˈkɒzmɒs)

/ (ˈmaɪkrəʊˌkɒzəm) /

noun

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
Compare macrocosm

Derived forms of microcosm

microcosmic or microcosmical, adjective

Word Origin for microcosm

C15: via Medieval Latin from Greek mikros kosmos little world
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

Cultural definitions for microcosm

microcosm

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.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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