"drawing upon a plane surface representing a part or whole of the earth's surface or the heavens, with the various points drawn in proportion and in corresponding positions," 1520s, a shortening of Middle English mapemounde "map of the world" (late 14c.), and in part from French mappe, shortening of Old French mapemonde. Both the fuller English and French words are from Medieval Latin mappa mundi "map of the world."
The first element is from Latin mappa "napkin, cloth" (on which maps were drawn), "tablecloth, signal-cloth, flag," said by Quintilian to be of Punic (Semitic) origin (compare Talmudic Hebrew mappa, contraction of Mishnaic menaphah "a fluttering banner, streaming cloth"). The second element is Latin mundi "of the world," from mundus "universe, world" (see mundane).
Commonly used 17c. in a figurative sense of "epitome; detailed representation of anything." To put (something) on the map "bring it to wide attention" is from 1913.
Roman name of an Egyptian god of the lower world, from Latin, from Greek Serapis, earlier Sarapis, from Egyptian User-hapi, literally "Osiris-Apis." Related: Serapic.
1897, originally with reference to the position of Great Britain in the world, from Greek hēgemon "an authority, leader, sovereign" (see hegemony).
c. 1200, "the universe, the world" (but not popular until 1848, when it was taken as the English equivalent to Humboldt's Kosmos in translations from German), from Latinized form of Greek kosmos "order, good order, orderly arrangement," a word with several main senses rooted in those notions: The verb kosmein meant generally "to dispose, prepare," but especially "to order and arrange (troops for battle), to set (an army) in array;" also "to establish (a government or regime);" "to deck, adorn, equip, dress" (especially of women). Thus kosmos had an important secondary sense of "ornaments of a woman's dress, decoration" (compare kosmokomes "dressing the hair," and cosmetic) as well as "the universe, the world."
Pythagoras is said to have been the first to apply this word to "the universe," perhaps originally meaning "the starry firmament," but it later was extended to the whole physical world, including the earth. For specific reference to "the world of people," the classical phrase was he oikoumene (ge) "the inhabited (earth)." Septuagint uses both kosmos and oikoumene. Kosmos also was used in Christian religious writing with a sense of "worldly life, this world (as opposed to the afterlife)," but the more frequent word for this was aiōn, literally "lifetime, age."
The word cosmos often suggested especially "the universe as an embodiment of order and harmony."