AskDefine | Define macroscopic

Dictionary Definition

macroscopic adj : large enough to be visible to the naked eye [syn: macroscopical, large] [ant: microscopic]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. Visible to the unassisted eye; as opposed to microscopic.


Extensive Definition

Macroscopic is commonly used to describe physical objects that are measurable and observable by the naked eye. When applied to phenomena and abstract objects, it describes existence in the world as we perceive it. Lengths scales generally considered macroscopic roughly fall in the range 1 mm–1 km.
The term macroscopic may also refer to a "larger view", namely a view only available from a large perspective. A macroscopic position could be considered the "big picture".


  • A macroscopic view of a ball is just that: a ball. A microscopic view could reveal a thick round skin seemingly composed entirely of puckered cracks and fissures (as viewed through a microscope) or, further down in scale, a collection of molecules in the rough shape of a sphere.

Macroscopy in physics

In physics, macroscopy can be a physical trait applied relative to what one is observing. If one looks at a galaxy, a star is a microscopic entity, even if it is many, many orders of magnitude larger than us.

See also

macroscopic in Czech: Makroskopický a mikroskopický
macroscopic in German: Makroskopie (Physik)
macroscopic in Spanish: Nivel macroscópico
macroscopic in Norwegian: Makroskopisk
macroscopic in Polish: Stan makroskopowy
macroscopic in Portuguese: Macroscópico
macroscopic in Albanian: Makroskopia
macroscopic in Simple English: Macroscopic
macroscopic in Swedish: Makroskopisk
macroscopic in Ukrainian: Макроскопічний
macroscopic in Chinese: 宏观
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