Definition of microcosm in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈmʌɪkrə(ʊ)kɒz(ə)m/


1A community, place, or situation regarded as encapsulating in miniature the characteristics of something much larger: the city is a microcosm of modern Malaysia
More example sentences
  • As a junior at Onteora High School, I saw my school become a microcosm of the situation in the larger community.
  • The ideal jury is a microcosm of the community from which it is drawn.
  • The reserve is a microcosm of the characteristic old Herefordshire landscape comprising hay meadows and orchards enclosed by thick hedgerows.
1.1Humankind regarded as the representation in miniature of the universe: the belief in correspondences between the Universe and Man—between microcosm and macrocosm
More example sentences
  • Thus, TCM views each of us as part of one unbroken whole, a microcosm, or smaller universe of Nature.
  • We are considered microcosms of the macrocosm of the universe.
  • The two keys represent the uniting of the microcosm and the macrocosm.



Pronunciation: /mʌɪkrə(ʊ)ˈkɒzmɪk/
Example sentences
  • It's also a microcosmic study of the rapidly morphing Plateau itself, once a working-class neighbourhood and now a residential yuppie hotspot, increasingly expensive with far fewer families.
  • In fact like Singapore's ‘Little India’ - exotic, microcosmic and glowing with energy - this is Kenya's ersatz avatar of the same.
  • And this applies just as much to the microcosmic world of Welsh surfing as it does to the wider world away from the blue-grey waves, warm pubs and happy-go-lucky locals that are part and parcel of Welsh wave riding.


Pronunciation: /mʌɪkrə(ʊ)ˈkɒzmɪk(ə)li/
Example sentences
  • Shonibare uses this microcosmically to depict his own life experiences, and macrocosmically to encapsulate what he conceives to be the hybrid, eclectic relationship between the West and the Orient.
  • For example, ‘These Foolish Things’ reflects, microcosmically, a number of Ferry's aesthetic preoccupations.
  • The Brian Jonestown Massacre's relationship with Toronto has always microcosmically represented the band's fractured career as a whole.


Middle English: from Old French microcosme or medieval Latin microcosmus, from Greek mikros kosmos 'little world'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: micro|cosm

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.