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

And when those issues are resolved, the self-powered, microscopic monitoring devices will likely give rise to new concerns over privacy and surveillance. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "Here Comes ‘Smart Dust,’ the Tiny Computers That Pull Power from the Air," 8 Nov. 2018 Archaeologist Tanya Smith of Griffith University and her colleagues examined microscopic samples of tooth enamel from two Neanderthal children from the Payre site in southeastern France. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Neanderthal teeth reveal lead exposure and difficult winters," 31 Oct. 2018 Local research scientist Betty Barbour had come to share her stunning images of the microscopic world. Ernie Mastroianni, Discover Magazine, "Meet the Man Who Takes Pictures of Microbes," 18 Oct. 2018 The feeling of being taken care of, truly taken care of, is at the heart of the salon’s mission, from the genteel attentiveness down to the microscopic health of the hair fibers. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "The Master of French-Girl Hair Opens His First New York Salon," 16 Oct. 2018 On Harbour Island in the Bahamas—one of the most famous beaches pictured here—the pink hue comes from foraminifera, a microscopic organism that actually has a reddish-pink shell, while the sand is a mix of coral, shells, and calcium carbonate. Caitlin Morton, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Most Beautiful Pink Sand Beaches in the World," 16 Aug. 2018 But every part of this story merits the exacting and microscopic detail The Looming Tower applies. Scott Meslow, GQ, "The Looming Tower Review: A Political Drama that Actually Has Something to Say," 1 Mar. 2018 And this repulsive encounter is worse than unhygienic: those feces spread microscopic parasites that cause Chagas disease. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "How Tiny Trackers Could Help Humans Avoid Kissing Bugs’ Deadly Smooch," 9 July 2018 These cells beat in synchrony, causing the gel to bend and altering its microscopic structure. Matt Warren, Science | AAAS, "Watch a gel embedded with heart cells change color with every beat," 28 Mar. 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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Statistics for microscopic

Last Updated

18 Nov 2018

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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