mac·​ro·​bi·​ot·​ic | \ ˌma-krō-bī-ˈä-tik How to pronounce macrobiotic (audio) , -bē- \

Definition of macrobiotic

: of, relating to, or being a diet based on the Chinese cosmological principles of yin and yang that consists of whole cereals and grains supplemented especially with beans and vegetables and that in its especially former more restrictive forms has been linked to nutritional deficiencies

Other Words from macrobiotic

macrobiotics \ ˌma-​krō-​bī-​ˈä-​tiks How to pronounce macrobiotic (audio) , -​bē-​ \ noun, plural in form but singular in construction

Examples of macrobiotic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web It’s not just the chef’s high end macrobiotic food offering, but the familial feel of guests and the family sitting around the communal table in the kitchen. Monica Mendal, Vogue, 24 June 2022 Perez-Gallardo’s Ecuadoran palate combined with the Japanese macrobiotic cooking their family prepared for health reasons, plus Black’s southern Alabama roots. Von Diaz, Washington Post, 3 June 2022 Despite its contemporary gloss, Erewhon started out as a macrobiotic wholesaler in the 1960s, selling mostly brown rice and tubs of miso. Willy Blackmore, Curbed, 9 Dec. 2021 To further your pursuit of wellness, the Cosme Kitchen Juicery and Cosme Adaptation Kitchen serve up nut milk smoothies, macrobiotic rice bowls and vegan sweets. New York Times, 11 May 2021 The smell of organic coffee and macrobiotic lunch served by silent, underpaid service staff slides in under the chrome door handles. Kim Tran, Harper's BAZAAR, 23 Mar. 2021 Its founders, Michio and Aveline Kushi, sought to make macrobiotic food more readily available. New York Times, 17 Feb. 2021 In an era when vegetarian food was dreary (think lentil loaf and macrobiotic brown rice), people lined up to eat Greens’ signature dishes like wilted spinach salad with mint, and piquant, savory galettes, timbales and gratins. Jessica Zack,, 10 Nov. 2020 When her mother was struggling with cancer in the mid-1990s, her entire family went on a vegetarian macrobiotic diet to support her lifestyle changes. Soleil Ho,, 3 Oct. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'macrobiotic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of macrobiotic

1965, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for macrobiotic

borrowed from French macrobiotique, probably adapted from German Macrobiotic, noun (defined by its coiner as "the art of prolonging life"), from Greek makrobiótēs "longevity, long life" (from makróbios "long-lived" —from makrós "long" + -o- -o- + -bios "having life [of the kind specified]"— + -tēs, abstract noun suffix) + German -ic -ic entry 2 — more at macro-, amphibious

Note: French macrobiotique was used by the Japanese author George Ohsawa (Nyoichi Sakurazawa, 1893-1966) in La Philosophie de la Médecine d'Extrême-Orient (1956) and later works that popularized macrobiotic diet practices. He most likely adapted the word from German Macrobiotic (in later spelling Makrobiotik), apparently originated by the German physician Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland (1762-1836) in Die Kunst das menschliche Leben zu verlängern (Jena, 1797). Hufeland defined Macrobiotic in the preface (p. vi) as "the art of prolonging life" ("die Kunst das Leben zu verlängern"), and in later editions used Makrobiotik as the title of the book, with the original title as subtitle.

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The first known use of macrobiotic was in 1965

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Last Updated

7 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Macrobiotic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for macrobiotic


mac·​ro·​bi·​ot·​ic | \ ˌmak-rō-bī-ˈät-ik, -bē- How to pronounce macrobiotic (audio) \

Medical Definition of macrobiotic

: of, relating to, or being a diet that consists of whole cereals and grains supplemented especially with beans and vegetables and that in its especially former more restrictive forms has been linked to nutritional deficiencies


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