AskDefine | Define cosmos

Dictionary Definition



1 everything that exists anywhere; "they study the evolution of the universe"; "the biggest tree in existence" [syn: universe, existence, creation, world, macrocosm]
2 any of various mostly Mexican herbs of the genus Cosmos having radiate heads of variously colored flowers and pinnate leaves; popular fall-blooming annuals [syn: cosmea]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Cosmos



From Ancient Greek κόσμος (kosmos) "order, ornament, world, universe".


  1. The universe
  2. An ordered, harmonious whole
  3. Any of various mostly Mexican herbs of the genus Cosmos having radiate heads of variously coloured flowers and pinnate leaves


the universe
an ordered, harmonious whole

Extensive Definition

In its most general sense, a cosmos is an orderly or harmonious system. It originates from a Greek term κόσμος meaning "order, orderly arrangement, ornaments," and is the antithetical concept of chaos. Today the word is generally used as a synonym of the word "Universe" (considered in its orderly aspect). The words cosmetics and cosmetology originate from the same root.


Pythagoras is said to have been the first philosopher to apply the term cosmos to the Universe, perhaps from application to the starry firmament.
Russian cosmism is a cosmocentric philosophical and cultural movement that emerged in Russia in the early 20th century.


In theology, the term can be used to denote the created Universe, not including the creator. The Septuagint uses both kosmos and oikumene for the inhabited world. In Christian theology, the word was also used synonymously with aion to refer to "worldly life" or "this world" as opposed to the afterlife.
The cosmos as originated by Pythagoras is parallel to the Zoroastrian term aša, the concept of a divine order, or divinely ordered creation.


Cosmology is the study of the cosmos in several of the above meanings, depending on context. All cosmologies have in common an attempt to understand the implicit order within the whole of being. In this way, most religions and philosophical systems have a cosmology.

External links

cosmos in Arabic: كون
cosmos in Catalan: Cosmos
cosmos in Czech: Kosmos
cosmos in German: Kosmos
cosmos in Estonian: Kosmos
cosmos in Modern Greek (1453-): Κόσμος
cosmos in Spanish: Cosmos
cosmos in Esperanto: Kosmo
cosmos in Indonesian: Kosmos
cosmos in Ido: Kosmo
cosmos in Norwegian: Kosmos
cosmos in Polish: Kosmos (astronomia)
cosmos in Portuguese: Cosmos
cosmos in Russian: Космос (философия)
cosmos in Finnish: Kosmos
cosmos in Swedish: Kosmos
cosmos in Vietnamese: Vũ trụ
cosmos in Turkish: Kainat
cosmos in Yiddish: קאסמאס

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Copernican universe, Einsteinian universe, Newtonian universe, Ptolemaic universe, all, all being, all creation, allness, created nature, created universe, creation, everything that is, expanding universe, macrocosm, macrocosmos, megacosm, metagalaxy, nature, omneity, plenum, pulsating universe, sidereal universe, steady-state universe, sum of things, system, totality, totality of being, universe, whole wide world, wide world, world, world without end
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