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Related to microcosm: Macrocosm and microcosm


A small, representative system having analogies to a larger system in constitution, configuration, or development: "He sees the auto industry as a microcosm of the U.S. itself" (William J. Hampton).

[Middle English microcosme, a human considered as a little universe, from Middle French, from Old French, from Late Latin mīcrocosmus, from Greek mīkros kosmos : mīkros, small + kosmos, world, order.]

mi′cro·cos′mic (-kŏz′mĭk), mi′cro·cos′mi·cal (-mĭ-kəl) adj.
mi′cro·cos′mi·cal·ly adv.


(ˈmaɪkrəʊˌkɒzəm) or


1. a miniature representation of something, esp a unit, group, or place regarded as a copy of a larger one
2. (Philosophy) man regarded as epitomizing the universe
[C15: via Medieval Latin from Greek mikros kosmos little world]
ˌmicroˈcosmic, ˌmicroˈcosmical adj


(ˈmaɪ krəˌkɒz əm)

also mi•cro•cos•mos

(ˌmaɪ krəˈkɒz məs, -moʊs)

1. a little world; a world in miniature (opposed to macrocosm).
2. anything that is regarded as a world in miniature, as an individual or a town.
[1175–1225; Middle English < Medieval Latin microcosmus < Greek; see micro-, cosmos]
mi`cro•cos′mic, mi`cro•cos′mi•cal, adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.microcosm - a miniature model of somethingmicrocosm - a miniature model of something  
example, model - a representative form or pattern; "I profited from his example"


[ˈmaɪkrəʊkɒzəm] Nmicrocosmo m


[ˈmaɪkrəʊkɒzəm] nmicrocosme m


[ˈmaɪkrəʊˌkɒzm] nmicrocosmo
References in classic literature ?
Beyond us, around us, human nature is at an end, and we are the only population of this microcosm until we become pure Selenites.
In this microcosm he represented French loquacity and excitability, and we beg you to believe that they were well represented.
The fishermen's song grew ever nearer and clearer, as their boat stood in for the beach; and I would have gone down to see them land their cargo of fish, had not the microcosm at my feet stirred my curiosity yet more keenly.
Think not that there is anything arbitrary in the numbers of parts of which that whole, that mysterious microcosm which you call a drama or a romance, is composed.
My life is like the single dewy star That trembles on the horizon's primrose-bar,-- A microcosm where all things living are.
There is one sentence in it, however--namely: `I protest strongly against the insufferable and entirely dogmatic assertion that each separate id is a microcosm possessed of an historical architecture elaborated slowly through the series of generations.
Being a microcosm himself, he discovers -- and it is a true discovery, and he is the man to make it -- that the world has been eating green apples; to his eyes, in fact, the globe itself is a great green apple, which there is danger awful to think of that the children of men will nibble before it is ripe; and straightway his drastic philanthropy seeks out the Esquimau and the Patagonian, and embraces the populous Indian and Chinese villages; and thus, by a few years of philanthropic activity, the powers in the meanwhile using him for their own ends, no doubt, he cures himself of his dyspepsia, the globe acquires a faint blush on one or both of its cheeks, as if it were beginning to be ripe, and life loses its crudity and is once more sweet and wholesome to live.
A government office is, in short, a microcosm of society, with its oddities and hatreds, its envy and its cupidity, its determination to push on, no matter who goes under, its frivolous gossip which gives so many wounds, and its perpetual spying.
As each artist contextualises their personal experience within broader themes of our societal construct, they end up representing society itself, turning each work into a microcosm of our collective experience.
Cosmos, by contrast, is related to a Romantic notion of the mind as natural microcosm in nineteenth-century lyric poetry, and to the experimental model of microcosm that modern ecologists continue to use to study nature's activities in a balanced, controlled form--a scientific procedure that, Scott contends, is inherited from lyrical poetic practices familiar to readers of Wordsworth and Keats.
As the psalms are a microcosm of the Old Testament, so the Expositions of the Psalms can be seen as a microcosm of Augustinian thought.
His topics include Maimonides and modern literary theory, man as microcosm in Maimonides' Guide to the Perplexed, the spheres and the commandments, the flow of form from the Book of Knowledge, the ladder of the commandments and the ladder of prophecy, theory and history in the prophet's epiphany, and the lost language of the commandments.