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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Cyclospora is a microscopic parasite that can cause diarrhea lasting a few days to a month or longer. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "More than 200 people get infections linked to bagged salad sold in eight states," 27 June 2020 High-profile investors including Chris Sacca and Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes have backed an Australian project that seeks to slash the costs of sucking carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by using microscopic fungi. James Thornhill, Houston Chronicle, "Can tiny fungi slash the cost of capturing carbon?," 26 June 2020 Yeasts were only discovered to be microscopic organisms in the 19th century, which means that in many of these texts, yeasts are a silent companion—an invisible participant in human culture. Gareth Cook, Scientific American, "A Poetic, Mind-Bending Tour of the Fungal World," 24 June 2020 When his doctor pulled the string up out of his mouth (think about that), the microscopic organisms clinging to the lower end confirmed what his gut had already told him. Keith Mccafferty, Field & Stream, "The Ultimate Survival Guide to Finding and Purifying Water," 19 June 2020 Unseen to the naked eye, microscopic airborne plastics fill the atmosphere around park lands, raining down on untouched ecosystems to be inhaled by unsuspecting wildlife and park visitors alike. J.d. Simkins, Sunset Magazine, "Airborne Plastic Particles: The Unseen Enemy Ravaging the West’s Protected Lands," 16 June 2020 These microscopic animals include nematodes, which look like tiny worms and are found in just about every environment on Earth, from the deep sea to the soil of the highest mountains. Corryn Wetzel, National Geographic, "Sea turtles can carry more than 100,000 tiny animals on their shells," 15 June 2020 In accordance with inflation, however, the incredible expansion of space should have magnified those microscopic quantum blips to macroscopic size. Brendan Z. Foster, Scientific American, "Did Galaxies Grow from Quantum Static?," 17 June 2020 All that microscopic Teutonic precision was now directed not to the malignant fantasy of creating racial categories but to distinguishing one man from all others. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "Revisiting Mengele’s Malignant “Race Science”," 15 June 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of microscopic

circa 1672, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about microscopic

Time Traveler for microscopic

Time Traveler

The first known use of microscopic was circa 1672

See more words from the same year

Statistics for microscopic

Last Updated

4 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Microscopic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/microscopic. Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for microscopic


How to pronounce microscopic (audio)

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 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


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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!