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 example, the island airport is a microcosm of the city and is accessed by one long bridge from the mainland.’
    • ‘The reserve is a microcosm of the characteristic old Herefordshire landscape comprising hay meadows and orchards enclosed by thick hedgerows.’
    • ‘Her women are not feminist case studies but microcosms of the complex rules and regulations that govern such states.’
    • ‘At their best they offer a microcosm of Red Sea reef life.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This small group of characters was a microcosm of the real world.’
    • ‘In sustaining living communities, collections of buildings such as colleges and campuses, as microcosms of the city typology, always need to grow.’
    • ‘A single medley, out of a captivating 40-minute set, offers a microcosm of their gifts.’
    • ‘In a way, the Island thus becomes a microcosm of urban society.’
    • ‘The earliest foreign settlements were microcosms of European metropolitan societies.’
    • ‘The ideal jury is a microcosm of the community from which it is drawn.’
    • ‘She who had abandoned the world outside the cloister walls found the microcosm of the community within too large.’
    • ‘Schools are microcosms of society and so, inevitably, there are bound to be examples of unacceptable and antisocial behaviour.’
    • ‘The coaching situation is a microcosm of the differences between the way the two franchises operate.’
    • ‘Airports have become small microcosms of society.’
    • ‘Currently, the city is a microcosm of the lurching recovery of the country.’
    • ‘In this respect, Dresden is a microcosm of the situation throughout the former East Germany.’
    • ‘It is tempting to view the situation as a microcosm of his later life.’
    • ‘As a junior at Onteora High School, I saw my school become a microcosm of the situation in the larger community.’
    • ‘I like to film these microcosms, highly-structured societies, small communities, groups within a very specific space.’
    1. 1.1Humankind regarded as the representation in miniature of the universe.
      ‘the belief in correspondences between the Universe and Man—between microcosm and macrocosm’
      • ‘Most important is the nearly universal idea of microcosm and macrocosm.’
      • ‘The science of primordial energy relates the electricity of 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Some of these traditions also mapped this onto the breath as a way of talking about macrocosm and microcosm.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The human being is thus a microcosm, containing in little the same energies as the macrocosm.’
      • ‘This album's strength lies in addressing both microcosm and macrocosm.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Through such liturgy, both the universe as macrocosm and the individual human being as microcosm are transformed, transfigured and deified.’
      • ‘The microcosm as well as the macrocosm is based on a constant harmony of movement, from the atoms to the galaxies.’
      • ‘Here, we have the link between the macrocism and the microcosm.’
      • ‘First, that since both macrocosm and microcosm were made by God, therefore there are important analogies between them.’


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