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[mak-ruh-koz-uh m] /ˈmæk rəˌkɒz əm/
the great world or universe; the universe considered as a whole (opposed to microcosm).
the total or entire complex structure of something:
the macrocosm of war.
a representation of a smaller unit or entity by a larger one, presumably of a similar structure.
1590-1600; < French macrocosme < Medieval Latin macrocosmus. See macro-, cosmos
Related forms
macrocosmic, adjective
macrocosmically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for macrocosm
  • The author ebulliently and dramatically devotes the first half of the book to the macrocosm.
  • You're looking at a microcosm of the human condition that is quite representative of the macrocosm of the human condition.
  • Flip a page and the macrocosm became the microcosm again and again, as if reality had sprung a series of leaks.
  • Yes, because what is threatening to us in microcosm is what is threatening to humanity in macrocosm.
British Dictionary definitions for macrocosm


a complex structure, such as the universe or society, regarded as an entirety, as opposed to microcosms, which have a similar structure and are contained within it
any complex entity regarded as a complete system in itself
Compare microcosm
Derived Forms
macrocosmic, adjective
macrocosmically, adverb
Word Origin
C16: via French and Latin from Greek makros kosmos great world
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for macrocosm

c.1600, "the great world" (the universe, as distinct from the "little world" of man), from Old French macrocosme (c.1300) and directly from Medieval Latin macrocosmus, from Greek makros "large, long" (see macro-) + kosmos (see cosmos).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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macrocosm in Culture

macrocosm definition

A representation of something on a much larger scale. (Compare microcosm.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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