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Saint Ignatius High School

Etymology Word of the Week

Director of Admissions Pat O'Rourke '90, a self-proclaimed "word nerd," brings you his Etymology Word of the Week. Every other week he presents an online Etymology lesson just for fun!

Etymology Word of the Week – As some of you know, in addition to working in the Admissions Office, I also teach Latin at Saint Ignatius and am something of a "word nerd."  Thus, each week, I’ll sneak a vocabulary word (sometimes derived from Latin, sometimes not) into the e-blast.  Here, then. is this week’s edition of the Etymology Word of the Week.  

Microcosm

Definition: “A community, place, or situation regarded as encapsulating in miniature the characteristic qualities or features of something much larger.” 

Origin/Derivation: From the Greek mikros meaning “small” and kosmos meaning “world.”     

Related Words/Phrases:  cosmic, cosmopolitan, cosmetic, cosmology, macrocosm; microfiche, microscope, microphone, micromanage, microbiology, etc, etc.



 

Caption: The couple’s inability to agree on what TV show to watch was a microcosm of the dynamics of their relationship.

(All information is from www.wikipedia.org, www.etymonline.com and/or www.dictionary.com)