so small as to be invisible or indistinct without the use of the microscope: microscopic organisms. Compare macroscopic.
very small; tiny.
of, pertaining to, or involving a microscope: microscopic investigation.
very detailed; meticulous: a microscopic view of society.
suggestive of the precise use of the microscope; minute: microscopic exactness.
Also, microscopical.

1670–80; microscope + -ic

microscopically, adverb
nonmicroscopic, adjective
nonmicroscopical, adjective
nonmicroscopically, adverb
unmicroscopic, adjective
unmicroscopically, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To Microscopic
World English Dictionary
microscopic or microscopical (ˌmaɪkrəˈskɒpɪk)
1.  Compare macroscopic not large enough to be seen with the naked eye but visible under a microscope
2.  very small; minute
3.  of, concerned with, or using a microscope
4.  characterized by or done with great attention to detail
microscopical or microscopical
micro'scopically or microscopical

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

"of minute size," 1760s; see microscope.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

microscopic mi·cro·scop·ic (mī'krə-skŏp'ĭk) or mi·cro·scop·i·cal (-ĭ-kəl)

  1. Too small to be seen by the unaided eye but large enough to be studied under a microscope.

  2. Of, relating to, or concerned with a microscope.

  3. Being or characterized as exceedingly small; minute.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Even tiny barnacles take in microscopic fragments of the stuff, which then move up the food chain, with unknown consequences.
There, they feed on plankton and other microscopic fare pulled in through tiny pores.
The new regions appear as tiny, microscopic bubbles and immediately start to grow.
These topics are only a microscopic sampling of what political scientists today
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature