cosmos

noun
cos·​mos | \ ˈkäz-məs How to pronounce cosmos (audio) , senses 1 & 2 also -ˌmōs, -ˌmäs How to pronounce cosmos (audio) \

Definition of cosmos

b(1) : an orderly harmonious systematic universe — compare chaos
(2) : order, harmony
2 : a complex orderly self-inclusive system
3 plural cosmos\ ˈkäz-​məs How to pronounce cosmos (audio) , -​məz \ also cosmoses\ ˈkäz-​mə-​səz How to pronounce cosmoses (audio) \ [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 Perhaps feeling a cool breeze on his bald head will alter his hitting cosmos. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "Matt Chapman shaves his head; A.J. Puk inches just a bit closer to Oakland," 9 Aug. 2019 Yet the issue of initial conditions remained: What was the source of the minuscule patch that allegedly ballooned into our cosmos, and of the potential energy that inflated it? Wired, "Cosmologists Clash Over the Beginning of the Universe," 16 June 2019 Yet the issue of initial conditions remained: What was the source of the minuscule patch that allegedly ballooned into our cosmos, and of the potential energy that inflated it? Natalie Wolchover, WIRED, "Cosmologists Clash Over the Beginning of the Universe," 16 June 2019 Yet the issue of initial conditions remained: What was the source of the minuscule patch that allegedly ballooned into our cosmos, and of the potential energy that inflated it? Quanta Magazine, "Physicists Debate Hawking’s Idea That the Universe Had No Beginning," 6 June 2019 Similar habits of analogical inference guide scientists in their speculations about features of the cosmos. Peter E. Gordon, The New York Review of Books, "Why Historical Analogy Matters," 7 Jan. 2020 Meanwhile, in Geneva, scientists at CERN have broadened the hunt to other parts of the cosmos. Neima Jahromi, The New Yorker, "The Histories Hidden in the Periodic Table," 27 Dec. 2019 But the density of existence, averaged out over all of the cosmos’s planets, stars, galaxies, and voids, has proved challenging to measure. Charlie Wood, Popular Science, "How astronomers weigh the universe (and everything in it)," 26 Dec. 2019 The craft traveled at speeds topping 2,300 miles per hour and climbed more than 55 miles into the sky, where Moses experienced her first view of the cosmos through the plane's cabin windows. Jackie Wattles, CNN, "A Q&A with Beth Moses, the first passenger ever on Virgin Galactic's space plane," 16 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for cosmos

Time Traveler

The first known use of cosmos was in 1596

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Statistics for cosmos

Last Updated

31 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cosmos.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cosmos. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for cosmos

cosmos

noun
How to pronounce cosmos (audio) How to pronounce cosmos (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of 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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