Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The entire world; the universe.
  • n. A system reflecting on a large scale one of its component systems or parts.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A complex structure, such as a society, considered as a single entity that contains numerous similar, smaller-scale structures.
  • n. The universe.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The great world; that part of the universe which is exterior to man; -- contrasted with microcosm, or man. See microcosm.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The great world; the universe, or the visible system of worlds: opposed to microcosm, or the little world constituted by man. The conception dates back to Democritus (born 460 b. c.). See microcosm.
  • n. The entire mass of anything of which man forms a part; the whole of any division of nature or of knowledge.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. everything that exists anywhere

Etymologies

Medieval Latin macrocosmus : Greek makro-, macro- + Greek kosmos, world.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Medieval Latin macrocosmus, formed from Ancient Greek μακρός (makros, "great, long") + κόσμος (cosmos, "universe, order"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • What happens in the macrocosm is reflected in the microcosm.

    Lillith and the Devil « Write Anything

  • Returning now to Plato's conception of community understood through the terms macrocosm and microcosm, what can the nursing world situation reveal to us of community?

    Humanistic Nursing

  • The macrocosm is the universe as a whole, whose parts are thought of as parts of a human body and mind.

    MACROCOSM AND MICROCOSM

  • Evidently man is the little God, the microcosm, an image of the macrocosm, which is God's larger universe.

    Autobiography, sermons, addresses, and essays of Bishop L. H. Holsey, D. D.,

  • Mortal, feeble and vain! restore thyself to thy proper sphere; acknowledge every where the effect of necessity; recognize in thy benefits, behold in thy sorrows, the different modes of action of those various beings endowed with such a variety of properties, which surround thee; of which the macrocosm is the assemblage; and do not any longer suppose that this nature, much less its great cause, can possess such incompatible qualities as would be the result of human views or of visionary ideas, which have no existence but in thyself.

    The System of Nature, Volume 2

  • By the ancients man was called a microcosm, from his representing the macrocosm, that is, the universe in its whole complex; but it is not known at the present day why man was so called by the ancients, for no more of the universe or macrocosm is manifest in him than that he derives nourishment and bodily life from its animal and vegetable kingdoms, and that he is kept in a living condition by its heat, sees by its light, and hears and breathes by its atmospheres.

    Angelic Wisdom Concerning the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom

  • Wal-Mart's culture is a "macrocosm" of the brutal hill-country society now exported to the world.

    Working for Wal-Mart: An Exchange

  • Man called a "macrocosm" because possessing in miniature the qualities of the Universe, 667-l.

    Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry

  • The void, so described, is not the Buddhist Void sunyata, but the void created by the intellectual knowledge humanity has acquired through empirical observation of ourselves, the world around us and ultimately the cosmos stretching into infinity both as macrocosm and microcosm.

    Rodney L. Taylor, Ph.D.: West Meets East: Confucius And Bertrund Russell

  • If you are denied power in your macrocosm, you may wind up acting out in your microcosm, essentially perpetuating a cycle of abuse.

    Bianca James: Reality Check Your Own Privilege

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