1. the great world or universe; the universe considered as a whole (opposed to microcosm).
  2. the total or entire complex structure of something: the macrocosm of war.
  3. a representation of a smaller unit or entity by a larger one, presumably of a similar structure.


  1. 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
  2. any complex entity regarded as a complete system in itself

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

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