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

Cyclosporiasis is caused by a microscopic parasite, known as cyclospora, found in food or water that has been contaminated with feces. Matthew Haag, New York Times, "McDonald’s Removes Salads Linked to Intestinal Parasite Outbreak in Midwest," 13 July 2018 No one who has not showered should swim in a lake either, but the sheer size of most lakes means the bacteria and microscopic parasites disperse, lessening the chances of infection even if someone swallows water accidentally. Glenn Howatt, ajc, "Swimming pools, hot tubs are more likely than lakes to make you sick, studies find," 9 July 2018 Even an asteroid impact is no match for the resilient, microscopic species. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "New species of tardigrade, world's most indestructible creature, discovered in parking lot in Japan," 1 Mar. 2018 According to a statement from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the illness is known as cyclosporiasis, which is caused by the microscopic Cyclospora parasite. Elly Belle, Teen Vogue, "McDonald's Salads Possibly Linked to Parasite," 13 July 2018 Cyclosporiasis is caused by a microscopic parasite called Cyclospora cayetanensis and can cause diarrhea, cramps, bloating, and other common stomach-bug symptoms. Amanda Macmillan, Health.com, "What Is Cyclospora? Parasite Linked to Del Monte Vegetables Has Sickened More Than 200," 10 July 2018 The microscopic parasite, called Cyclospora cayetanensis, infects people through contaminated food or water. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Del Monte Veggies Linked to Parasite Outbreak That's Sickened More Than 200 People Already," 9 July 2018 Outbreaks of cyclosporiasis in the United States have been linked to imported fresh produce contaminated with a microscopic parasite. Mihir Zaveri, BostonGlobe.com, "Vegetable trays linked to outbreak," 7 July 2018 The microscopic cyclospora parasite, when ingested, can cause cyclosporiasis, an intestinal illness, according to the FDA. Detroit Free Press, "Del Monte recalls vegetable trays in Michigan, 5 other states," 18 June 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

23 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for microscopic

The first known use of microscopic was circa 1672

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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

What made you want to look up microscopic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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