cos·mo·pol·i·tan | \ ˌkäz-mə-ˈpä-lə-tən \

Definition of cosmopolitan 

(Entry 1 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 \ : a cocktail made of vodka, orange-flavored liqueur, lime juice, and cranberry juice



Definition of cosmopolitan (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : 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

2 : having wide international sophistication : worldly Greater cultural diversity has led to a more cosmopolitan attitude among the town's younger generations.

3 : composed of persons, constituents, or elements from all or many parts of the world a city with a cosmopolitan population

4 : found in most parts of the world and under varied ecological conditions a cosmopolitan herb

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Other words from cosmopolitan


cosmopolitanism \ˌkäz-mə-ˈpä-lə-tə-ˌni-zəm \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for cosmopolitan

Synonyms: Noun

city slicker, cosmopolite, metropolitan, slicker, sophisticate

Synonyms: Adjective

smart, sophisticated, worldly, worldly-wise

Antonyms: Noun

bumpkin, hick, provincial, rustic, yokel

Antonyms: Adjective

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

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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


as someone who had lived in Paris for a year as an exchange student, she seemed very much the cosmopolitan to her old classmates


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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Xi Jinping will be an awkward fit around the cosmopolitans who gather annually at the Swiss Alpine resort. Andrew Browne, WSJ, "Xi Jinping in Davos, Making the Most of a Waning Era," 16 Jan. 2017 All that was missing were the clinking cosmopolitans. Alex Williams, New York Times, "Sarah Jessica Parker, Molly Shannon and Jerry Seinfeld at HBO’s Premiere of ‘Divorce’," 5 Oct. 2016

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Probably the most cosmopolitan way to quadruple-team your cholesterol count. Steve Rosenbloom,, "Does ESPN’s Chauncey Billups know how much he pantsed the Bulls?," 22 June 2018 This Mexican team, which is the product of Osorio’s three years of study, tinkering and rotaciones—not to mention the development of a more refined, experienced and cosmopolitan corps of players—had a plan and executed it to perfection. Brian Straus,, "Mexico Can Dream Bigger at World Cup After Beating Powerhouse Germany," 17 June 2018 From cosmopolitan centers like Moscow and St. Petersburg, to farther-flung cities like Kazan and Yekaterinburg, references to the U.S. president are everywhere. Eduardo Neret, Fox News, "Trump's leadership style - and his likeness - popular with Russians," 12 July 2018 The cosmopolitan makeup of the Premier League partly explains its popularity around the world. Jonathan Clegg, WSJ, "The Premier League’s World Cup Takeover," 8 July 2018 The influx transformed England’s top flight: a league that had long been entirely stocked by British players — with a smattering of Scandinavians — was suddenly a much more diverse, cosmopolitan, exotic place. Rory Smith, New York Times, "When the World’s Greatest Soccer Players Gather, Scouts Stay Away," 5 July 2018 Reverse Podsnaps think Britain is rejecting cosmopolitan values in favour of a repulsive Little Englandism. The Economist, "Podsnappery and its reverse," 21 June 2018 Colombians were lining up at 11,000 polling stations to cast ballots, from the Amazon to the cosmopolitan streets of Bogota and Medellin. Anthony Faiola,, "'D.C. Colombian' squares off against former guerrilla as Colombians vote," 17 June 2018 One of Greece's Saronic islands, the car-less Hydra is known for its cosmopolitan nature, with lots of seaside snack bars, cafés, tavernas, restaurants, bars, and clubs for people-watching at all hours of the day. Condé Nast Traveler, "Car-Free Destinations for Your Next Island Vacation," 1 June 2018

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


circa 1645, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1798, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cosmopolitan


see cosmopolite


see cosmopolite

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Phrases Related to cosmopolitan

the cosmos

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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)

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



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

: showing an interest in different cultures, ideas, etc.

: having people from 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).


a magnificent or impressive array

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