cos·​mo·​pol·​i·​tan | \ ˌkäz-mə-ˈpä-lə-tən How to pronounce cosmopolitan (audio) \

Essential Meaning of cosmopolitan

1 : showing an interest in different cultures, ideas, etc. cosmopolitan [=worldly, sophisticated] writers Greater cultural diversity has led to a more cosmopolitan attitude among the town's younger generations. the cosmopolitan taste/sophistication of the store's customers
2 : having people from many different parts of the world It's one of the country's more cosmopolitan cities. the community's cosmopolitan atmosphere

Full Definition of cosmopolitan

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having wide international sophistication : worldly Greater cultural diversity has led to a more cosmopolitan attitude among the town's younger generations.
2 : composed of persons, constituents, or elements from all or many parts of the world a city with a cosmopolitan population
3 : having worldwide rather than limited or provincial scope or bearing … his cosmopolitan benevolence, impartially extended to all races and to all creeds.— Thomas Babington Macaulay
4 : found in most parts of the world and under varied ecological conditions a cosmopolitan herb



Definition of cosmopolitan (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : cosmopolite Many cosmopolitans around the world now also share the English language …— Robert J. Shiller
2 or less commonly cosmo \ ˈkäz-​(ˌ)mō How to pronounce cosmopolitan (audio) \ : a cocktail made of vodka, orange-flavored liqueur, lime juice, and cranberry juice

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Other Words from cosmopolitan


cosmopolitanism \ ˌkäz-​mə-​ˈpä-​lə-​tə-​ˌni-​zəm How to pronounce cosmopolitan (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for cosmopolitan

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Noun

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Defining Cosmopolitan (Not the Drink)

Since cosmopolitan includes the root polit-, from the Greek word for "citizen", someone who is cosmopolitan is a "citizen of the world". She may be able to read the morning paper in Rio de Janeiro, attend a lecture in Madrid, and assist at a refugee camp in Uganda with equal ease—and maybe all in the same week. And a city or a country that is cosmopolitan has aspects and elements that come from various countries.

Examples of cosmopolitan in a Sentence

Adjective Greater cultural diversity has led to a more cosmopolitan attitude among the town's younger generations. the cosmopolitan taste of the store's customers It's one of the country's more cosmopolitan cities. Noun as someone who had lived in Paris for a year as an exchange student, she seemed very much the cosmopolitan to her old classmates
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Unlike many semi-cloistered Moroccan women of her class and generation, her mother was genuinely cosmopolitan. Guy Trebay, Town & Country, 2 Sep. 2021 While mass and social media offer a superficially cosmopolitan perspective on global culture, writers like Ruffin reveal that travel is often less about cultural immersion than blithe escapism. Los Angeles Times, 19 Aug. 2021 An important lure in Mallorca’s tackle box is its cultured capital Palma, a cosmopolitan city that’s become an art destination with terrific museums and galleries, eye-catching architecture and both traditional and cutting-edge gastronomy. Andrew Ferren, WSJ, 30 July 2021 The recipes clustered around Baltimore are more cosmopolitan, featuring exotic fruits and seafood because of their proximity to trading ports. Washington Post, 18 July 2021 The recipes clustered around Baltimore are more cosmopolitan, featuring exotic fruits and seafood, due to their proximity to trading ports. Maria Eberhart,, 15 July 2021 With home prices out of reach for many in Greater Boston, Worcester’s transit connections, resilient economy, and increasingly cosmopolitan setting are looking more attractive., 12 July 2021 In the heart of the Marais neighborhood, surrounded by galleries, shops, and cafes, sits the elegant and cosmopolitan Hôtel 9Confidentiel. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, 2 July 2021 For those packing up from more cosmopolitan parts of the state, there are elements of a trade-off. Los Angeles Times, 2 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Argentina also scored two entries, with cosmopolitan Buenos Aires at No. 4 and Mendoza, in the heart of wine country, following close behind at No. 6. Sarah Bruning, Travel + Leisure, 8 Sep. 2021 But progress was fitful and uneven, with Kabul thriving and acquiring a cosmopolitan veneer while the hinterlands remained mired in poverty — and the Taliban plotted its return. Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times, 30 Aug. 2021 With a sleek open kitchen and a tapas-style menu (there are no entrées, only small and slightly less small plates), Little Mad cultivates a spare, cosmopolitan cool. The New Yorker, 27 Aug. 2021 Zeca said that Angola was becoming more cosmopolitan. Joshuah Bearman, Vulture, 23 Aug. 2021 The team's ascendance has invigorated a Midwestern city that is far from the league's more cosmopolitan venues, like Los Angeles or Boston. Gretchen Ehlke, Star Tribune, 22 July 2021 Childless, he was succeeded by J.R.D. Tata, the dashing and cosmopolitan son of Jamsetji’s first cousin. Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, 13 July 2021 China’s offensive has dramatically accelerated its absorption of Hong Kong, portending deeper changes that could end the city’s status as Asia’s cosmopolitan capital. New York Times, 28 June 2021 In the cosmopolitan bubble of Kabul, the Talibs were greeted less as a liberating army than as a kind of theocratic motorcycle gang: rough armed men rolling into town, demanding allegiance. Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker, 22 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cosmopolitan.' 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 cosmopolitan


1798, in the meaning defined at sense 3


circa 1645, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cosmopolitan


see cosmopolite


see cosmopolite

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Learn More About cosmopolitan

Time Traveler for cosmopolitan

Time Traveler

The first known use of cosmopolitan was circa 1645

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Last Updated

14 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cosmopolitan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2021.

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Nglish: Translation of cosmopolitan for Spanish Speakers

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


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