cosmopolitan

1 of 2

adjective

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

cosmopolitan

2 of 2

noun

1
: cosmopolite
Many cosmopolitans around the world now also share the English language … Robert J. Shiller
2
or less commonly cosmo : a cocktail made of vodka, orange-flavored liqueur, lime juice, and cranberry juice

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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.

Example Sentences

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
It was originally set in Kansas City, which felt too big, too cosmopolitan. Samantha Highfill, EW.com, 25 Sep. 2022 Gilbane intermingled tropical patterns with velvets, jewel tones, and lacquered shine to travel in that direction but keep it cosmopolitan. Petra Guglielmetti, Better Homes & Gardens, 19 Sep. 2022 The first two years of his university life coincided with Stalin’s anti-cosmopolitan campaign, aimed at Jewish scholars and writers. David E. Hoffman, Washington Post, 30 Aug. 2022 Bise, who grew up near Austin, wanted to be in a more cosmopolitan Dallas after studying English at Texas A&M. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, 3 Aug. 2022 The project became something very different, but beautiful in its own way, as it’s a very cosmopolitan film with people coming together from all over to make it: an Indian director, a Pakistani writer. Seija Rankin, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 Aug. 2022 Instead, Africa Fashion celebrates the vitality and innovation of a selection of fashion creatives, exploring the work of the vanguard in the 20th century and the creatives at the heart of this eclectic and cosmopolitan scene today. Angelina Villa-clarke, Forbes, 19 July 2022 Shanghai, the country's most populous and cosmopolitan city, is reeling from a six-week lockdown that has sparked public outcry, while the capital Beijing has shut schools, restaurants and rolled out frequent mass testing to curb its outbreak. Nectar Gan, CNN, 11 May 2022 In the meantime, the three quarrel, split up across national borders, and cohabitate in various villas, ranging in location from the cosmopolitan German spa town Baden-Baden to Paris. The New Yorker, 4 July 2022
Noun
The pandemic, which caused some people to flee high-density urban areas for the suburbs, left others craving a more cosmopolitan experience. Amy Gamerman, WSJ, 13 July 2022 European, African — owned by her cosmopolitan Barbadian grandfather. New York Times, 23 June 2022 As Canada’s most luxurious real estate market, Montreal has no shortage of sprawling estates and cosmopolitan pads. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 3 Oct. 2022 Church officials went on to support construction of Abravanel Hall, rebuilding of the Capitol Theatre and other major developments that have proved to be big attractions, recalled Wilson, as the city became more cosmopolitan. Tony Semerad, The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 Oct. 2022 The cosmopolitan, semi-autonomous Chinese city is the first Asian location for the quadrennial event since its inception in San Francisco in 1982. Time, 30 Sep. 2022 The Lost Children — Hostages begins in the cosmopolitan Tehran of 1977. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 28 Sep. 2022 Variations of the cosmopolitan mix have been used around the world for hundreds of years. Terry Baddoo, USA TODAY, 14 Sep. 2022 In addition to traveling all across the globe this summer, Lipa has been making sure to document her corresponding cosmopolitan outfits. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 6 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

see cosmopolite

Noun

see cosmopolite

First Known Use

Adjective

1798, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Noun

circa 1645, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cosmopolitan was circa 1645

Dictionary Entries Near cosmopolitan

Cite this Entry

“Cosmopolitan.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cosmopolitan. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

cosmopolitan

adjective

cos·​mo·​pol·​i·​tan
ˌkäz-mə-ˈpäl-ət-ᵊn
1
: having a worldwide scope or outlook : not limited or narrow
cosmopolitan world travelers
2
: composed of persons or elements from many parts of the world
a cosmopolitan city
3
: found in most parts of the world and in many kinds of ecological conditions
a cosmopolitan herb
cosmopolitan noun

More from Merriam-Webster on cosmopolitan

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