Definition of microcosm in English:



  • 1A community, place, or situation regarded as encapsulating in miniature the characteristics of something much larger.

    ‘the city is a microcosm of modern Malaysia’
    • ‘In this respect, Dresden is a microcosm of the situation throughout the former East Germany.’
    • ‘This small group of characters was a microcosm of the real world.’
    • ‘A single medley, out of a captivating 40-minute set, offers a microcosm of their gifts.’
    • ‘Currently, the city is a microcosm of the lurching recovery of the country.’
    • ‘Schools are microcosms of society and so, inevitably, there are bound to be examples of unacceptable and antisocial behaviour.’
    • ‘The reserve is a microcosm of the characteristic old Herefordshire landscape comprising hay meadows and orchards enclosed by thick hedgerows.’
    • ‘In sustaining living communities, collections of buildings such as colleges and campuses, as microcosms of the city typology, always need to grow.’
    • ‘The ideal jury is a microcosm of the community from which it is drawn.’
    • ‘At their best they offer a microcosm of Red Sea reef life.’
    • ‘The coaching situation is a microcosm of the differences between the way the two franchises operate.’
    • ‘As a junior at Onteora High School, I saw my school become a microcosm of the situation in the larger community.’
    • ‘In a way, the Island thus becomes a microcosm of urban society.’
    • ‘She who had abandoned the world outside the cloister walls found the microcosm of the community within too large.’
    • ‘It is tempting to view the situation as a microcosm of his later life.’
    • ‘The earliest foreign settlements were microcosms of European metropolitan societies.’
    • ‘In this example, the island airport is a microcosm of the city and is accessed by one long bridge from the mainland.’
    • ‘I like to film these microcosms, highly-structured societies, small communities, groups within a very specific space.’
    • ‘Airports have become small microcosms of society.’
    • ‘Certainly, these little microcosms of society that are our colleges should model, as closely as possible, what is best about our diverse, democratic, and pragmatic society.’
    • ‘Her women are not feminist case studies but microcosms of the complex rules and regulations that govern such states.’
    1. 1.1 Humankind regarded as the representation in miniature of the universe.
      ‘the belief in correspondences between the Universe and Man—between microcosm and macrocosm’
      • ‘Through such liturgy, both the universe as macrocosm and the individual human being as microcosm are transformed, transfigured and deified.’
      • ‘The human being is thus a microcosm, containing in little the same energies as the macrocosm.’
      • ‘Thus, TCM views each of us as part of one unbroken whole, a microcosm, or smaller universe of Nature.’
      • ‘Here, we have the link between the macrocism and the microcosm.’
      • ‘The two keys represent the uniting of the microcosm and the macrocosm.’
      • ‘First, that since both macrocosm and microcosm were made by God, therefore there are important analogies between them.’
      • ‘The science of primordial energy relates the electricity of macrocosm and microcosm.’
      • ‘It is how we have come to know what we are - and what we are is (to use some old language) a microcosm of the macrocosm.’
      • ‘This album's strength lies in addressing both microcosm and macrocosm.’
      • ‘Most important is the nearly universal idea of microcosm and macrocosm.’
      • ‘To take off through the air, casting one's gaze across the endless sweep of the universe or upon the no less exciting realm of the microcosm.’
      • ‘We are considered microcosms of the macrocosm of the universe.’
      • ‘Some of these traditions also mapped this onto the breath as a way of talking about macrocosm and microcosm.’
      • ‘They can be seen as cosmic instruments, symbolic of manifesting the vibration of each of the planets to bring balance from the macrocosm to us as the microcosm.’
      • ‘The microcosm as well as the macrocosm is based on a constant harmony of movement, from the atoms to the galaxies.’


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