cos·​mop·​o·​lite käz-ˈmä-pə-ˌlīt How to pronounce cosmopolite (audio)
: a sophisticated, widely traveled person : a cosmopolitan person
"… he is a polished gentleman, a citizen of the world—yes, a true cosmopolite…"Nathaniel Hawthorne
: an organism found in most parts of the world and under varied ecological conditions : a cosmopolitan organism
A few of these kinds of oysters had and have a wide distribution around the world. One such cosmopolite is the tropical P. hyotis, as far-flung in habitat as coral reefs and usually found in conjunction with them, in the Indian Ocean, the south Pacific, the Caribbean, the west coast of Africa, etc.Eleanor Clark
käz-ˈmä-pə-ˌlī-ˌti-zəm How to pronounce cosmopolite (audio)

Examples of cosmopolite in a Sentence

having sung in opera houses all over the world, she has the confident demeanor of a seasoned cosmopolite
Recent Examples on the Web In one scene, the function of food as a status symbol for globe-trotting cosmopolites becomes clear. Amelia Lester, New York Times, 18 Apr. 2018 Born in France into a Turkish family, Shafak, 46, is the ultimate modern cosmopolite. John Timpane,, 24 Jan. 2018 The Gersons named their building Ballinhaus as a monument to the country’s late cosmopolite-in-chief. Yuliya Komska, Smithsonian, 10 Oct. 2017 That vaudevillian public disdain for East Coast intellectuals, Ivy League blue bloods, cosmopolites — all of it started with Nixon. Jennifer Senior, New York Times, 29 Mar. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cosmopolite.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin cosmopolites, from Greek kosmopolitēs, from kosmos + politēs citizen

First Known Use

circa 1618, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cosmopolite was circa 1618

Dictionary Entries Near cosmopolite

Cite this Entry

“Cosmopolite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

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