Definition of microcosm
- The suburb has been the microcosm of the city.
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The village is a microcosm of the whole country.
The game was a microcosm of the entire season.
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A microcosm is a "little world" - "mikros kosmos" in Greek. The Greek term was modified to "microcosmus" in Medieval Latin. When early medieval scholars referred to humans as miniature embodiments of the natural universe, they either employed the Latin word microcosmus or they used the English translation, "less world." "Man is callyd the lasse worlde, for he shewyth in hymselfe lyknesse of all the worlde," wrote John Trevisa when he translated the Latin text of Bartholomaeus Anglicus’ encyclopedia in the 14th century. But by the 15th century scholars had adopted an anglicized version of the Latin word, the word we use today - "microcosm."
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
: something (such as a place or an event) that is seen as a small version of something much larger
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