cos·​mol·​o·​gy | \ käz-ˈmä-lə-jē How to pronounce cosmology (audio) \
plural cosmologies

Definition of cosmology

1a : a branch of metaphysics that deals with the nature of the universe
b : a theory or doctrine describing the natural order of the universe
2 : a branch of astronomy that deals with the origin, structure, and space-time relationships of the universe also : a theory dealing with these matters

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Other Words from cosmology

cosmological \ ˌkäz-​mə-​ˈlä-​ji-​kəl How to pronounce cosmological (audio) \ adjective
cosmologically \ ˌkäz-​mə-​ˈlä-​ji-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce cosmologically (audio) \ adverb
cosmologist \ käz-​ˈmä-​lə-​jist How to pronounce cosmologist (audio) \ noun

Cosmology and Star Trek

Most religions and cultures include some kind of cosmology to explain the nature of the universe. In modern astronomy, the leading cosmology is still the Big Bang theory, which claims that the universe began with a huge explosion that sent matter and energy spreading out in all directions. One reason why fans watch Star Trek is for the various cosmologies depicted in the show, including different conceptions of space, time, and the meaning of life.

Examples of cosmology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web CalTech physicist Sean Carroll tells the Associated Press' Seth Borenstein and David Keyton that Peebles' win is likely the first Physics Nobel awarded for purely theoretical cosmology. Smithsonian, "Three Win Physics Nobel for Showing Our Place in the Cosmos," 9 Oct. 2019 This mangrove forest is where India and Bangladesh meet, and the story, appropriately, braids together Hindu and Muslim cosmology. Rumaan Alam, Washington Post, "With ‘Gun Island,’ Amitav Ghosh turns global crises into engaging fiction," 8 Sep. 2019 Meanwhile, theoretical cosmologists have been making a more detailed and compelling case for the promise of 21-cm cosmology. Davide Castelvecchi, Scientific American, "The Quest to Unlock the Secrets of the Baby Universe," 26 Aug. 2019 The science of cosmology has had a spectacular run. Dan Hooper, Time, "Will We Ever Find Dark Matter in the Universe?," 6 Dec. 2019 James Peebles, professor emeritus at Princeton University, is receiving a half-share of the award for his pioneering theoretical work in cosmology, which helped researchers establish the structure of the universe. Smithsonian, "Three Win Physics Nobel for Showing Our Place in the Cosmos," 9 Oct. 2019 The prize will be shared between physical cosmologist James Peebles for his contribution to physical cosmology and the astrophysicists Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz, who discovered the first planet circling a star in another galaxy. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded to Cosmology, Exoplanet Researchers," 8 Oct. 2019 That said, dark matter and dark energy, with their spooky names, remain mysteries to modern cosmology. Akshat Rathi, Quartz, "Winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in physics expanded our understanding of the universe," 8 Oct. 2019 According to the prevailing theory of cosmology, every galaxy lies embedded in a vast network of filaments and sheets of hydrogen gas. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "Astronomers map galaxy-feeding hydrogen filaments for the first time," 3 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cosmology.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cosmology

circa 1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for cosmology

New Latin cosmologia, from Greek kosmos — see cosmic + New Latin -logia -logy

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Time Traveler for cosmology

Time Traveler

The first known use of cosmology was circa 1656

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Statistics for cosmology

Last Updated

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cosmology.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 January 2020.

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More Definitions for cosmology


How to pronounce cosmology (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cosmology

: the scientific study of the origin and structure of the universe

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More from Merriam-Webster on cosmology

Nglish: Translation of cosmology for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cosmology for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cosmology

Comments on cosmology

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