Membean is an incredibly effective way to learn words and permanently remember them.
Learn more on how we help for Test Prep, Personal Learning, or get it for your School.

archives » Im-interactive

#70 micro small

Quick Summary

Micro-small Prefixes are key morphemes in English vocabulary that begin words. The origin of the prefix micro- is an ancient Greek word which meant “small.” This prefix appears in no “small” number of English vocabulary words; microphone, microwave, and micromanager are a few noteworthy examples. An easy way to remember that the prefix micro- means “small” is through the word microscope, an instrument which allows the viewer to see “small” living things.

From Membean

The word ingredient Memlet, shown below, is one of many ways that a word is taught in Membean.
See an example word page »

Ingredient Memlet: microcosm
Help

micro- small
cosm universe

A microcosm is a “small universe” that represents a “whole universe,” that is, it’s a “smaller” representative copy of a larger, “universal” whole.

Micro-: Not a “Small” Prefix

Prefixes are key morphemes in English vocabulary that begin words. Today we will micromanage your learning in no “small” way to tell you all about the Greek prefix micro-!

When someone refers to something as simply micro, she means that it is “small.” A microscope, for instance, enables a scientist to see “small” living organisms. Living creatures viewed under a microscope are called microorganisms, or very “small” one-celled creatures, such as viruses, fungi, and bacteria. Microbiologists study these “small” life forms, also known as microbes.

Many inventions use the prefix micro- which means “small.” A microphone, for instance, makes a “small” voice louder, just like a microscope makes “small” images larger. A microwave is a relatively “small” radio wave, measuring in length from one millimeter to one meter; a microwave oven uses these “small” radio waves to heat food. A microprocessor is a “small” processor at the heart of a computer that performs such tasks as computation, communication, and multimedia functions.

I hope that you have never been saddled with a boss who is a micromanager, or who likes to control every “small” aspect of everything that his employees do, no matter how “small!”

Now the next time you speak into a microphone, peer into a microscope, or use a microwave, you will know that it is no “small” potatoes to know what micro- is all about!

  1. micro: ‘small’
  2. microscope: instrument that makes ‘small’ things perceptible
  3. microorganism: very ‘small’ living creature consisting of one cell
  4. microbiologist: a scientist who studies ‘small’ living creatures
  5. microbe: very ‘small’ life form
  6. microphone: makes a ‘small’ voice loud
  7. microwave: ‘small’ radio wave
  8. microprocessor: ‘small’ computer processing unit
  9. micromanager: supervisor who looks at every ‘small’ thing her employees do