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

Kepler lived in the midst of a scientific renaissance, during a time in which humanity began to realize its place in the cosmos. Amy Thompson, Smithsonian, "LightSail 2 Launches to Space to Soar on the Power of Sunshine," 25 June 2019 It’s designed to be a spiritual experience of finding yourself in the cosmos. Larry Bleiberg, USA TODAY, "10 great ancient ruins that track the heavens, from Woodhenge to Chichen Itza," 25 June 2019 This may help us answer questions about the early universe and perhaps even locate life elsewhere in the cosmos. National Geographic, "Countdown to a new era inSpace," 17 June 2019 Einstein’s elevation to global celebrity was boosted by the fact (emphasised by Eddington) that an Englishman had confirmed a German’s hypothesis which rewrote the rules of the cosmos. The Economist, "How Einstein and Eddington stood against jingoism," 7 June 2019 The proposal represented a first guess at the quantum description of the cosmos — the wave function of the universe. Quanta Magazine, "Physicists Debate Hawking’s Idea That the Universe Had No Beginning," 6 June 2019 And since astronomers have discovered many Neptune and Uranus-sized exoplanets, the findings could be applicable to far-flung parts of the cosmos. National Geographic, "Bizarre form of hot ice seen on Earth," 8 May 2019 But, using the laws of physics and our understanding of the cosmos, scientists are able to recreate what a black hole should look like to a reasonable degree of accuracy. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, "Drawing the Invisible: The Many Ways Artists Have Imagined Black Holes," 9 Apr. 2019 For decades, a group of researchers on a quest to find extraterrestrial life have been listening patiently to the cosmos. Brian Resnick, Vox, "What humpback whales can teach us about alien languages," 6 Dec. 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

4 Jul 2019

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 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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More from Merriam-Webster on cosmos

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cosmos

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cosmos

Spanish Central: Translation of cosmos

Nglish: Translation of cosmos for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cosmos for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cosmos

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