Cosmopolitan Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

Cosmopolitan: It’s the name of a popular magazine and tasty cocktail, but do you know the meaning of cosmopolitan? This guide will provide answers.

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Seeing as it’s the name of a coveted magazine hailed by women everywhere and a delicious cocktail made famous by the beloved show Sex and the City, you’ve probably heard the word “cosmopolitan” before — but do you know what it means? 

Read on to discover our guide on cosmopolitan, complete with definitions, usage examples, and more.  

What Is the Definition of Cosmopolitan?

If you ask your local bartender to combine triple sec, vodka, cranberry juice, and lime juice, you’ll have a tasty drink — a cosmopolitan. Now that we have our drinks properly sorted, let’s look at another definition of cosmopolitan. 

Cambridge English Dictionary defines cosmopolitan as a noun that references a person who has experienced multiple parts of the world. Our word of the day is also an adjective meaning growing in many parts of the world or having a worldwide scope.

Not just used to reference a person, a place can also be described as cosmopolitan. In this sense, it’s used to describe a place swarming with various people of all nationalities or simply as “diverse.” 

What Are the Antonyms of Cosmopolitan?

Now that you’re up to speed on the meaning of cosmopolitan, let’s take a look at a few antonyms. An antonym is a word that means the opposite of another word — in this case, the opposite of cosmopolitan.

Provided by Power Thesaurus, here are the antonyms of cosmopolitan listed below:

  • Unsophisticated
  • Hick
  • Dull 
  • Untrendy 
  • Rustic
  • Rude 
  • Country girl 
  • Puritan
  • Rural 
  • Autonomous 
  • Uncouth
  • Boorish 
  • Guileless
  • Nerdy
  • Geeky 
  • Country boy
  • Local
  • Domestic 
  • Ingenuous
  • Boring 
  • Daughter of the soil
  • Wide-eyed
  • Unworldly 

What Are the Synonyms of Cosmopolitan?

Words that have the same or nearly the same meaning are called synonyms. Read on below to find the synonyms of our word of the day — also provided by Power Thesaurus:

  • Sophisticated 
  • Oecumenical
  • Far-reaching
  • With it
  • Universal
  • Le dernier cri
  • Spiffy 
  • City slicker
  • cosmopolite
  • cross-cultural
  • Well-traveled
  • Worldwide
  • Ecumenical 
  • World-wise
  • Broadminded
  • Citified 
  • Media savvy
  • Diverse’
  • Multicultural
  • All-embracing
  • Of mixed race
  • Cool
  • Stylish
  • Chic
  • On fleek
  • Culturally diverse

What Is the Etymology of Cosmopolitan?

Etymology refers to the origin or derivation of a word. Understanding the etymology of a word gives you a great advantage in deciphering how to use it best. 

In other words, it can help you better understand your native language! With this in mind, you may be wondering about the etymology of cosmopolitanism.

According to the Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, our word of the day was first coined in the 17th century and ultimately derived from Greek kosmopolitēsm (or kosmopolitēs), meaning “citizen of the world.” 

It has been used to describe a vast variety of important views in moral and socio-political philosophy.

How Can You Use Cosmopolitan in a Sentence?

By now you likely know that the word cosmopolitan can refer to much more than just a trendy magazine or a tasty cocktail. To help further your overall understanding of our word of the day, we’ve put together a list of example sentences for you to review below:

Jane was truly a cosmopolitan person; I am fairly certain there are no parts of the world left for her to visit.

A cosmopolitan society is full of folks from different countries and cultures.”

As a cosmopolite — a true citizen of the world — Margaret really embodied the definition of a cosmopolitan person.

A cosmopolitan herb is one that grows all over the world.

“f you’re anything like me, you love the glitz and glam that comes with cosmopolitan culture.

Did you know that cosmopolitanism can be defined as having constituent elements from all around the globe or from many parts of the world?

Was it not T.B. Macaulay that spoke of cosmopolitan benevolence? 

When my girls and I hit the club, we order unlimited rounds of cosmopolitans, jello shots, and tequila shooters.

Quick to get out of her small hometown and move to the highly cosmopolitan city of New York, Casey did not walk out the door — she sprinted.

What Are Translations of Cosmopolitan? 

Want to live like a cosmopolitan and travel the globe? If so, you may want to expand your vocabulary to include terms outside of the English language. Here are a few translations of the term cosmopolitan to get you started: 

  • Brazilian Portuguese — cosmopolita
  • European Spanish — cosmopolit
  • German — kosmopolitisch
  • Italian — cosmopolita
  • Korean — 국제적인
  • American English — cosmopolitan
  • Spanish — cosmopolita
  • Thai — ของคนหลายชาติหลายภาษา
  • European Portuguese — cosmopolita
  • Japanese — 国際的な
  • French — cosmopolite
  • Chinese — 世界性的


From the ever-popular alcoholic drink and trendy magazine to simply referencing a cosmopolitan atmosphere, any way you look at it, cosmopolitan references sophistication and a sense of culture. 

Those who are cosmopolitan have an air of glitz and glam surrounding them — a sense that they’ve seen the world. 


  1. Cosmopolitan synonyms: 720 Words and Phrases for Cosmopolitan | Power Thesaurus 
  2. Cosmopolitan | definition | Cambridge English Dictionary 
  3. Cosmopolitan definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  4. Best 21 Definitions of Cosmopolitan | Your Dictionary 
  5. Cosmopolitanism | Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy