The definition of a microcosm is a small subset of a whole that is generally considered to be representative of the whole.
An example of a microcosm is a small sect of the population which is surveyed in order to get an idea of the opinions of the general population.
- a little world; miniature universe; specif.,
- Historical the concept that a human being is an epitome of the world
- a community regarded as a miniature or epitome of the world
- anything regarded as epitomizing, encapsulating, or representing in miniature
- Ecol. a small ecosystem, as a pond
Origin of microcosmMiddle English microcosme ; from Medieval Latin microcosmus ; from Late Greek mikros kosmos, little world: see micro- and amp; cosmos
A small, representative system having analogies to a larger system in constitution, configuration, or development: “He sees the auto industry as a microcosm of the U.S. itself” (William J. Hampton).
Origin of microcosmMiddle English microcosme, man as a little world, from Old French, from Late Latin m&imacron;crocosmus, from Greek m&imacron;kros kosmos : m&imacron;kros, small + kosmos, world, order.
- mi′cro·cos′mic , mi′cro·cos′mi·cal
- Human nature or the human body as representative of the wider universe; man considered as a miniature counterpart of divine or universal nature. [from 15th c.]
- A smaller system which is seen as representative of a larger one. [from 17th c.]
- (ecology) A small natural ecosystem; an artificial ecosystem set up as an experimental model. [from 19th c.]