cosmos

noun
cos·​mos | \ˈkäz-məs, senses 1 & 2 also -ˌmōs, -ˌmäs \

Definition of cosmos 

1a : universe sense 1

b(1) : an orderly harmonious systematic universe — compare chaos

(2) : order, harmony

2 : a complex orderly self-inclusive system

3 plural cosmos\ ˈkäz-​məs , -​məz\ also cosmoses\ ˈkäz-​mə-​səz \ [ New Latin, genus name, from Greek kosmos ] : any of a genus (Cosmos) of tropical American composite herbs especially : a widely cultivated tall annual (C. bipinnatus) with yellow or red disks and showy ray flowers

Illustration of cosmos

Illustration of cosmos

cosmos 3

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Cosmos and the Universe

Cosmos often simply means "universe". But the word is generally used to suggest an orderly or harmonious universe, as it was originally used by Pythagoras in the 6th century B.C. Thus, a religious mystic may help put us in touch with the cosmos, and so may a physicist. The same is often true of the adjective cosmic: Cosmic rays (really particles rather than rays) bombard us from outer space, but cosmic questions come from human attempts to find order in the universe.

Examples of cosmos in a Sentence

the origins of the cosmos an essay that ponders the place of humankind in the vast cosmos

Recent Examples on the Web

The discovery heralds the next step in what scientists call multi-messenger astronomy, which probes the cosmos with telescopes working across different wavelengths and now with detectors of gravitational waves as well. Robert Lee Hotz, WSJ, "Scientists Track Neutrinos Through Ice to Their Source in the Cosmos," 12 July 2018 These satellites detect exoplanets by scanning the cosmos for transits, which are periodic dips in a star’s light that occur when a planet passes in front of it. Denise Chow /, NBC News, "Camera billed as 'world's most advanced' could boost search for alien life," 21 May 2018 As Lepage maps out his family’s unit and those of each of his neighbors, the building springs to numinous life, seeming to contain not just its tenants but multitudes, a cross-section of Quebec and of humanity, the cosmos in microcosm. Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle, "In the memory palace of Robert Lepage’s ‘887,’ there are many mansions," 5 May 2018 Webb, seeing the cosmos in infrared wavelengths, will photograph the most distant stars and galaxies in the universe. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, "Building the World's Most Powerful Telescope," 21 Mar. 2018 Since the 1990s, two revolutionary technologies have enabled telescopes to measure the cosmos with more precision than ever before. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "The Deep Space Eye in the Desert," 14 Feb. 2018 British architect Norman Foster is known for his designs here on Earth, but now his firm Foster + Partners is looking to expand its portfolio into the cosmos, with futuristic-looking designs for colonies on Mars and the moon. NBC News, "Here's what future Mars and lunar space colonies could look like," 7 July 2018 Lettuce, bachelor’s buttons, cosmos, coreopsis, calendula and scabiosa all have flower heads that bear seeds in tiny flowers. Pam Peirce, SFChronicle.com, "The joy of seed saving," 6 July 2018 Spirituality is a way of being in the world, a sense of one’s place in the cosmos, a relationship to that which extends beyond ourselves. Michael Shermer, New York Times, "Must Science Conflict With Spirituality?," 25 June 2018

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

1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for cosmos

Greek kosmos

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Statistics for cosmos

Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cosmos

The first known use of cosmos was in 1596

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More Definitions for cosmos

cosmos

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cosmos

the cosmos : the universe especially when it is understood as an ordered system

: a tall plant that has usually white, pink, or red flowers

cosmos

noun
cos·​mos | \ˈkäz-məs, 1 is also -ˌmōs, -ˌmäs\

Kids Definition of cosmos

1 : the universe especially as thought of as an orderly system

2 : a tall garden plant related to the daisies that has showy white, pink, or rose-colored flower heads

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Comments on cosmos

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