cosmos

noun

cos·​mos ˈkäz-məs How to pronounce cosmos (audio)
 senses 1 & 2 also  -ˌmōs,
-ˌmäs How to pronounce cosmos (audio)
1
b(1)
: an orderly harmonious systematic universe compare chaos
(2)
2
: a complex orderly self-inclusive system
3
plural cosmos ˈkäz-məs How to pronounce cosmos (audio)
-məz
also cosmoses ˈkäz-mə-səz How to pronounce cosmos (audio) [New Latin, genus name, from Greek kosmos] : any of a genus (Cosmos) of tropical American composite herbs
especially : a widely cultivated tall annual (C. bipinnatus) with yellow or red disks and showy ray flowers

Illustration of cosmos

Illustration of cosmos
  • cosmos 3

Did you know?

Cosmos and the Universe

Cosmos often simply means "universe". But the word is generally used to suggest an orderly or harmonious universe, as it was originally used by Pythagoras in the 6th century B.C. Thus, a religious mystic may help put us in touch with the cosmos, and so may a physicist. The same is often true of the adjective cosmic: Cosmic rays (really particles rather than rays) bombard us from outer space, but cosmic questions come from human attempts to find order in the universe.

Example Sentences

the origins of the cosmos an essay that ponders the place of humankind in the vast cosmos
Recent Examples on the Web Björk, Fossora Björk’s music endures for many reasons, but her ability to seamlessly blend personal experience and universal ideas — to share her life, and also stretch it into the cosmos — must be considered primary to her brilliance. Jason Lipshutz, Billboard, 30 Sep. 2022 At one point a light tower beamed from the 50-yard line straight up into the cosmos. James Sullivan, BostonGlobe.com, 22 July 2022 The unveiling at the White House came with a sneak peek of the first shot — a jumble of distant galaxies that went deeper into the cosmos than humanity has ever seen. Ed Stannard, Hartford Courant, 12 July 2022 The unveiling from the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope began Monday at the White House with a sneak peek of the first shot — a jumble of distant galaxies that went deeper into the cosmos than humanity has ever seen. Seth Borenstein, ajc, 12 July 2022 The unveiling from the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope began Monday at the White House with a sneak peek of the first shot — a jumble of distant galaxies that went deeper into the cosmos than humanity has ever seen. Seth Borenstein, Chicago Tribune, 12 July 2022 The first image from the $10-billion James Webb Space Telescope was released Monday at the White House — a jumble of distant galaxies that went deeper into the cosmos than humanity has ever seen. Los Angeles Times, 12 July 2022 Six and a half months ago, a rocket launch from Earth carrying the world's newest, most powerful, deep space telescope on a journey 1 million miles into the cosmos. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 12 July 2022 The first image from the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope was released Monday at the White House — a jumble of distant galaxies that went deeper into the cosmos than humanity has ever seen. Seth Borenstein, Anchorage Daily News, 12 July 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cosmos.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Greek kosmos

First Known Use

1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of cosmos was in 1596

Dictionary Entries Near cosmos

Cite this Entry

“Cosmos.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cosmos. Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

cosmos

noun

cos·​mos ˈkäz-məs How to pronounce cosmos (audio)
senses 1 & 2 also
-ˌmōs How to pronounce cosmos (audio)
-ˌmäs
1
: the orderly universe
2
: a complex harmonious system
3
: a tall garden plant that is related to the daisies and has showy white, pink, or rose-colored flower heads with usually yellow centers

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