microscopic

adjective
mi·​cro·​scop·​ic | \ ˌmī-krə-ˈskä-pik How to pronounce microscopic (audio) \
variants: or less commonly microscopical \ ˌmī-​krə-​ˈskä-​pi-​kəl How to pronounce microscopical (audio) \

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 \ ˌmī-​krə-​ˈskä-​pi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce microscopically (audio) \ 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

Whether the picture’s scale is microscopic or cosmic, its buzzing energy is palpable. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, "In the galleries: ‘Archiving Eden’ exhibition sprouts interest with macro photos," 5 July 2019 Superhydrophobicity, as physicists call this effect, involves peppering a surface with microscopic structures that contain pockets of fluid. The Economist, "How to make a better raincoat with tiny “water bowls”," 4 July 2019 Harder to grasp are health impacts from microscopic particles in the smoke that can trigger heart attacks, breathing problems and other maladies. CBS News, "Smoke from wildfires increases health risks for millions of Americans," 25 June 2019 Harder to grasp are health impacts from microscopic particles in the smoke that can trigger heart attacks, breathing problems and other maladies. Matthew Brown, latimes.com, "Wildfires fueled by climate change will mean shorter lives for many Americans," 25 June 2019 There are as many as 51 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean, and 90 percent of that ocean plastic is microscopic. Sarah Gibbens And Laura Parker, National Geographic, "Creatures in the deepest trenches of the sea are eating plastic," 28 Feb. 2019 Much of it is microscopic in size and cannot be captured even by nets with a lace-fine mesh. Quanta Magazine, "On Waste Plastics at Sea, She Finds Unique Microbial Multitudes," 13 Sep. 2018 In one impressive scene researchers lure them to the shore at night, shining lights in the water to attract the microscopic plankton that the giants feed on. Peter Keough, BostonGlobe.com, "Trouble in paradise, forgotten vets, remembering Tiananmen," 27 June 2019 When this soil dries and is exposed to oxygen, microscopic organisms break down the peat into carbon dioxide and release the greenhouse gas. Washington Post, "Coal train derails into Great Dismal Swamp wildlife refuge," 26 June 2019

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

15 Jul 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

microscopic

adjective

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

microscopic

adjective
mi·​cro·​scop·​ic | \ ˌmī-krə-ˈskä-pik How to pronounce microscopic (audio) \

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

microscopic

adjective
mi·​cro·​scop·​ic | \ ˌmī-krə-ˈskäp-ik How to pronounce microscopic (audio) \
variants: or microscopical \ -​i-​kəl How to pronounce microscopical (audio) \

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 How to pronounce microscopically (audio) \ adverb

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Comments on microscopic

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