utopia

noun
uto·​pia | \ yu̇-ˈtō-pē-ə \

Definition of utopia

1 often capitalized : a place of ideal perfection especially in laws, government, and social conditions
2 : an impractical scheme for social improvement
3 : an imaginary and indefinitely remote place

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Did You Know?

In 1516, English humanist Sir Thomas More published a book titled Utopia. It compared social and economic conditions in Europe with those of an ideal society on an imaginary island located off the coast of the Americas. More wanted to imply that the perfect conditions on his fictional island could never really exist, so he called it Utopia, a name he created by combining the Greek words ou (meaning "no, not") and topos (meaning "place," a root used in our word topography). The earliest generic use of utopia was for an imaginary and indefinitely remote place. The current use of utopia, referring to an ideal place or society, was inspired by More's description of Utopia's perfection.

Examples of utopia in a Sentence

The town's founders wanted to create a Christian utopia. It's a nice place to live, but it's no Utopia.

Recent Examples on the Web

None of these places are utopias, and unlearning behavior is an ongoing struggle. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "The Female Couples Remaking the Restaurant Industry," 16 May 2018 This year’s best design and urbanism books feature impeccable modern interiors and fantastical cityscapes, educational toys and landscape utopias, plus playgrounds, textiles, subway tiles, and road trips. Curbed Staff, Curbed, "18 enticing new books on design, cities, and more," 14 Dec. 2018 As waves of refugees flee the socialist utopia, bad actors ranging from Vladimir Putin to Hezbollah are nosing around in the ruins of the Bolivarian republic. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "The Return of James Monroe," 6 Aug. 2018 His work is instantaneous commentary on the concrete utopia. Alexandra Lange, Curbed, "Concrete utopia," 12 July 2018 In Raniere’s Randian utopia, true value exchange was always upheld. Vanessa Grigoriadis, New York Times, "The ‘Sex Cult’ That Preached Empowerment," 30 May 2018 The stories of Better Worlds are not intended to be conflict-free utopias or Pollyanna-ish paeans about how tech will solve everything; many are set in societies where people face challenges, sometimes life-threatening ones. The Verge, "Better Worlds," 5 Dec. 2018 One night, driving home from dropping off a vintage car to tech prodigy Eron (Harrison Gilbertson), the technological utopia proves fallible. Katie Walsh, kansascity, "‘Upgrade’: Silly cyberpunk with a timely message about our high-tech world," 31 May 2018 Although Barnsdall’s dreams of a creative utopia never came to fruition, today this public park is home to one of the best spots for sunbathing in Los Angeles. Hadley Meares, Los Angeles Magazine, "10 Historic L.A. Places to Visit on a Sunny Day," 14 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'utopia.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of utopia

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for utopia

Utopia, imaginary and ideal country in Utopia (1516) by Sir Thomas More, from Greek ou not, no + topos place

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Last Updated

23 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for utopia

The first known use of utopia was in 1533

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More Definitions for utopia

utopia

noun

English Language Learners Definition of utopia

: an imaginary place in which the government, laws, and social conditions are perfect

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More from Merriam-Webster on utopia

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with utopia

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for utopia

Spanish Central: Translation of utopia

Nglish: Translation of utopia for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of utopia for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about utopia

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