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 cosmos (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

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 James Webb Space Telescope won't begin capturing stunning, high-resolution views of the cosmos until this summer, but its initial test images are already revealing just how detailed our new perspective of the stars will be. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 14 May 2022 Einstein’s insight led to a new conception of the cosmos, in which space-time could quiver, bend, rip, expand, swirl and even disappear forever into the maw of a black hole, an entity with gravity so strong that not even light could escape it. New York Times, 12 May 2022 Two interpretations of the same text shape two different views of the cosmos and two versions of history. Edward Rothstein, WSJ, 21 Apr. 2022 The line is gay nonsense that, like so much gay nonsense, implicates the entire cosmos as ridiculous. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 3 June 2022 Listening to his philosophy of farming in harmony with the cosmos and embracing living soil in his vineyards was moving. Michelle Williams, Forbes, 20 May 2022 Not dark matter, the mysterious form of matter that dominates the cosmos. Paul Sutter, Ars Technica, 18 May 2022 The cosmos seemed to point that this was the way to go in that there was a Friday the 13th right here for the taking. Jessica Wang,, 13 May 2022 Will the stars and galaxies coalescing in THESAN’s virtual cosmos mirror the populations of ancient objects as seen by JWST’s optics? Charles Q. Choi, Scientific American, 10 May 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of cosmos

1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for cosmos

Greek kosmos

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Last Updated

23 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cosmos.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for cosmos


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

More from Merriam-Webster on cosmos

Nglish: Translation of cosmos for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cosmos for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cosmos


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