All Words > Macroscopic

Friday, April 29

Macroscopic

[mak-rə-SKA-pik]

Part of speech: adjective

Origin: English, 19th century

1.

Visible to the naked eye; not microscopic.

2.

Relating to large-scale or general analysis.

Examples of Macroscopic in a sentence

"A macroscopic view of U.S. food trends considers the practices of all restaurants, caterers, and food-producers."

"The mold growth was microscopic at first, but after several days it had become macroscopic and clearly visible."

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About Macroscopic

The word “macroscopique” appeared in French in 1865, and English speakers may well have brought it into the language as an obvious opposite to “microscopic,” which had been in use since the 17th century. In both French and English, “macroscopic” combines the prefix “macro-,” meaning “large” or “long,” with the suffix “-scopic,” which refers to the act of watching.

Did you Know?

In its initial form, “macroscopic” referred specifically to the opposite of “microscopic,” things so small they could not be viewed with the naked eye. “Macroscopic” things were simply those that could be seen. Over time, however, the term has taken on a metaphoric implication, invoking “a long view” or “the big picture” — both of which are variations on the word’s two roots of “macro” and “scopic,” which together refer to the act of watching in a broad manner.

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