Epitome vs Microcosm - What's the difference?

epitome | microcosm |

As nouns the difference between epitome and microcosm

is that epitome is (label) (embodiment or encapsulation of) while microcosm is human nature or the human body as representative of the wider universe; man considered as a miniature counterpart of divine or universal nature.




(wikipedia epitome) (en-noun)
  • (of a class of items) The embodiment or encapsulation of.
  • (of a class of items) A representative example.
  • (of a class of items) The height; the best.
  • (of a written document) A brief summary.
  • Usage notes

    The sense ‘the height, the best’ is considered incorrect by some; instead, `pinnacle' may be preferred.


    * (an embodiment of) in a nutshell (modern idiom), synopsis * (the best) greatest * (a summary) abstract, synopsis


    * antithesis

    Derived terms

    * epitomize * epitomic * epitomical



    (en noun)
  • Human nature or the human body as representative of the wider universe; man considered as a miniature counterpart of divine or universal nature.
  • * 1972', Rolf Soellner, ''Shakespeare's Patterns of Self-Knowledge'', Chapter 3: '''''Microcosm and Macrocosm: Framing The Picture of Man , page 43:
  • The Christian humanists were emphatic in their demand that a man who wishes to understand himself must realize that he is a little world that reflects on a smaller scale the larger world of the universe.On the other hand, the whole idea of man as a microcosm was questioned by those who were not in sympathy with the Christian humanists.
  • (obsolete) The human body; a person.
  • * (William Shakespeare), , First Folio 1623, Act 2, Scene 1:
  • If you see this in the Map of my Microcosme , followes it that I am knowne well enough too?
  • A smaller system which is seen as representative (of) a larger one.
  • * 1999 , Barry McIntyre, The Guardian , 16 Dec 1999:
  • ‘In a sense, the problems experienced at Bristol are like a microcosm of what is happening in the NHS - experienced surgeons battling against difficult circumstances, with inadequate resources and in a culture where the finding of scapegoats appears to be put before the finding of solutions.’
  • * {{quote-news
  • , year=2011 , date=October 1 , author=Phil Dawkes , title=Sunderland 2 - 2 West Brom , work=BBC Sport citation , page= , passage=Steve Bruce's side have swung from highs to lows in what has been at best a wildly inconsistent start to the season. They experienced a microcosm of this within the opening 45 minutes at the Stadium of Light.}}
  • (ecology) A small natural ecosystem; an artificial ecosystem set up as an experimental model.
  • * 2009 , Jerry C. Smrchek, Maurice G. Zeeman, Chapter 3: Assessing Risks to Ecological Systems from Chemicals'', Peter P. Calow (editor), ''Handbook of Environmental Risk Assessment and Management , page 53:
  • The method is relatively labour intensive (24-30 microcosms' are run) and more difficult to interpret when compared with other ' microcosm methods (Shannon et al. 1986; Cairns & Cherry 1993).


    * (smaller system representative of a larger one) (l)


    * macrocosm ----