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

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 cosmo (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 cosmopolitanism (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for cosmopolitan

Synonyms: Adjective

smart, sophisticated, worldly, worldly-wise

Synonyms: Noun

city slicker, cosmopolite, metropolitan, slicker, sophisticate

Antonyms: Adjective

guileless, ingenuous, innocent, naive (or naïve), unsophisticated, untutored, unworldly, wide-eyed

Antonyms: Noun

bumpkin, hick, provincial, rustic, yokel

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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


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.


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

Vu, who runs the restaurant with husband Matthew Beavers, has applied a distinctly cosmopolitan sensibility to this suburban street corner. Soleil Ho,, "With Top Hatters, San Leandro rocks a destination restaurant," 12 July 2019 It wasn't helped by the interior, which didn't quite have the feel to match its trendy, cosmopolitan wardrobe. Larry Printz, Dallas News, "The 2020 Jaguar XE sports sedan is a fine feline with animal spirit performance," 6 July 2019 Sports radio dudes openly discussed whether cartels would show up and kill visiting fans, even though Mexico City is one of the Western Hemisphere’s most cosmopolitan places., "15 things to love and 11 things to loathe about Boston," 2 July 2019 In the same week, on June 27, a Muslim cab driver, 25-year-old Faizal Usman Khan was beaten up by a group of men at night, barely minutes away from Mumbai, India’s celebrated cosmopolitan city. Rana Ayyub, Time, "What a Rising Tide of Violence Against Muslims in India Says About Modi's Second Term," 28 June 2019 But the royal family’s cosmopolitan reputation doesn’t entirely reflect Jordanian society. Isabel Debre, Fortune, "Netflix's First Original Arabic Series, 'Jinn,' Stirs Up Outrage in Jordan," 21 June 2019 The jacket was sleek, crisp at the seams, and struck me as cosmopolitan given its foreign origin. Aram Mrjoian, Longreads, "Bearing the Weight of My Grandfathers’ Old Clothes," 15 June 2019 Paris, the argument goes, is far too big, far too busy and far too cosmopolitan for the Women’s World Cup to make much of a splash. Kevin Baxter,, "Soccer! France is slowly warming up to the Women’s World Cup," 11 June 2019 It is sometimes called the cosmopolitan butterfly because of its global distribution. Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post, "PHOTOS: 60 Painted Lady butterflies released in hospice ceremony, families honor loved ones," 4 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But the greater ambition, Le Roux says, is to grow Orania into a small city that’s attractive to young cosmopolitans in Pretoria and Cape Town. Gregory Barber, WIRED, "Inside an All-White Town’s Divisive Experiment With Cryptocurrency," 6 June 2019 Their ideology is shaped by being lone nationalists among cosmopolitans. Dara Lind, Vox, "Trumpism doesn’t win majorities. And Trump doesn’t care.," 7 Nov. 2018 The Camondos were true cosmopolitans, at home everywhere equally but nowhere entirely. James Mcauley, Town & Country, "A Secret Paris Museum and an Aristocratic Family Decimated by the Holocaust," 9 Feb. 2017 European cosmopolitans, particularly those in Germany and around Scandinavia, took the top slots, and Australia and New Zealand snagged a few spots as well. Alyssa Pereira, ELLE Decor, "San Francisco Dubbed Best American City For High Quality Of Life," 1 Mar. 2016 At the opposite end of the political spectrum from the AfD are the Greens, the party of cosmopolitans. The Economist, "Between open and closedGerman politics has become much more complicated," 12 Apr. 2018 None of this is very unique to people in MBA programs, rather the norm for any group of young cosmopolitans in 2018. John Benjamin, The New Republic, "Business Class," 14 May 2018 Steve Bannon is delivering a wake-up call to the rootless cosmopolitans of the Trump administration: The forgotten men and women of the Saudi royal family must be forgotten no longer. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Bannon Speaks Out For the Forgotten People of the Saudi Royal Family," 24 Oct. 2017 The people buried in them are generally thought to be cosmopolitans. Michael Price, Science | AAAS, "Once this Viking warrior was revealed to be a woman, some began to question her battle bona fides," 14 Sep. 2017

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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Statistics for cosmopolitan

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for cosmopolitan

The first known use of cosmopolitan was circa 1645

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More Definitions for cosmopolitan



English Language Learners Definition of cosmopolitan

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: showing an interest in different cultures, ideas, etc.
: having people from many different parts of the world



English Language Learners Definition of cosmopolitan (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who has lived in and knows about many different parts of the world

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Comments on cosmopolitan

What made you want to look up cosmopolitan? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to form ideas or theories about something

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