mi·​cro·​scop·​ic | \ ˌmī-krə-ˈskä-pik \
variants: or less commonly microscopical \ -​pi-​kəl \

Definition of microscopic

1 : resembling a microscope especially in perception
2a : invisible or indistinguishable without the use of a microscope
b : very small or fine or precise
3 : of, relating to, or conducted with the microscope or microscopy

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Other Words from microscopic

microscopically \ -​pi-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Examples of microscopic in a Sentence

At this point, the embryo is a microscopic clump of only 100 cells. There is a microscopic crack in the diamond. He has a microscopic attention span. He recorded every aspect of his trip in microscopic detail. a microscopic study of plant tissues
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Recent Examples on the Web

The eczema study is the latest in a flood of research in the past several years on the skin microbiome—the microscopic ecosystem containing trillions of bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microorganisms that live on our skin—showing how... Susan Kitchens, WSJ, "Bacteria May Offer New Hope for Treating Skin Disorders," 5 Feb. 2019 The approach could also lessen the likelihood of disease recurrence due to microscopic tumors left behind after surgery. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "Nanoparticles That Zap and Kill Cancer Cells Are a Small Solution to Huge Disease," 9 Jan. 2019 The cuts don’t need to be big—even microscopic disruptions in your vaginal mucosa can be enough, Dr. Streicher says. Korin Miller, SELF, "Can I Really Not Sleep With a Tampon in During My Period?," 23 Jan. 2018 The scientists started by examining the microscopic structure of different types of carbon fibers. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "To Get More Electric Mileage, Scientists Want to Turn a Car's Frame Into a Battery," 23 Oct. 2018 Canaletto and Bellotto come across most convincingly for their astonishing ability to render complex architectural scenes in near microscopic detail. Steven Litt, cleveland.com, ""Eyewitness Views" at Cleveland Museum of Art revives forgotten meanings of 18th century 'view paintings' (photos," 25 Feb. 2018 Seemingly every aspect of her appearance and demeanor has been examined with microscopic detail on TV. USA TODAY, "South Korea's Moon may be on brink of legacy-defining moment," 11 Feb. 2018 Some of the women post pictures on social media of their tiny microscopic eggs. Kim Brooks, Harper's BAZAAR, "The New Frontier of Fertility Tests—for Young Women," 1 Nov. 2018 The role microplastics — microscopic pieces of plastic — play in plastic pollutions is vast. Tabor Wordelman, Teen Vogue, "Your Yoga Pants Are Polluting the Water You Drink," 19 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'microscopic.' 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 microscopic

circa 1672, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

11 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for microscopic

The first known use of microscopic was circa 1672

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More Definitions for microscopic



English Language Learners Definition of microscopic

: able to be seen only through a microscope : extremely small
: much smaller than what is usual, normal, or expected
: done with a microscope


mi·​cro·​scop·​ic | \ ˌmī-krə-ˈskä-pik \

Kids Definition of microscopic

1 : of, relating to, or conducted with the microscope a microscopic examination
2 : so small as to be visible only through a microscope : very tiny a microscopic crack

Other Words from microscopic

microscopically \ -​pi-​kə-​lē \ adverb


mi·​cro·​scop·​ic | \ ˌmī-krə-ˈskäp-ik \
variants: or microscopical \ -​i-​kəl \

Medical Definition of microscopic

1 : of, relating to, or conducted with the microscope or microscopy
2 : so small or fine as to be invisible or indistinguishable without the use of a microscope — compare macroscopic, submicroscopic, ultramicroscopic sense 1

Other Words from microscopic

microscopically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

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Comments on microscopic

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to express emotion in a dramatic way

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