"Utopia" by Merriam-Webster

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noun uto·pia \yu̇-ˈtō-pē-ə\

Popularity: Top 1% of lookups

Simple Definition of utopia : an imaginary place in which the government, laws, and social conditions are perfect

Full Definition of utopia

1: an imaginary and indefinitely remote place

2 often capitalized: a place of ideal perfection especially in laws, government, and social conditions

3: an impractical scheme for social improvement See utopia defined for English-language learners See utopia defined for kids

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.


Origin and Etymology of utopia

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

First Known Use: 1597


utopia Synonyms

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Learn More about utopia

  1. Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for utopia

  2. Spanish Central: Translation of utopia

  3. Nglish: Translation of utopia for Spanish speakers

  4. Britannica English: Translation of utopia for Arabic speakers

  5. Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about utopia


Seen and Heard

Merriam-Webster asks the following question:

What made you want to look up utopia ? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Reg Steers · 
I listened to the Sunday Edition in which the author of a book about utopian ideas stated that it was actually a negative place meaning "no place". I had always thought of it as an ideal place. I just had to confirm his interpretation


Ashraf Orkhan Kashef · 
I red a little bit by Mario Benedetti ---We all want what you can't, we're fans of the forbidden. Some call it a utopia,
But the utopia is more seductive. Doesn't have closed doors as the impossible. Don't despise us as forbidden. Utopia has the grace of the myths, the wonder of illusions. Mario Benedetti



Yolanda Laugier Classen · 
I heard it from a Television show called "Charmed" and they mention utopia a world where people live happily ever after with no evil.



Irma Jean Notarianni · 
We are overwhelmed with this utopian relationship ....is this even used as the correct word in sense of the definition (utopian)?


Rustina Dawn Thompson Sharpe · 
Working on an assignment for a class at UNCG, and was given this prompt:
Because of societal inequities, too many children and families still do not have access to the "basic human rights" due them. Imagine a world of justice and equal opportunity for all. In your post discuss the following:

What would that world look like for each of the children and/or families with whom you work?
What would that world look like for the program, school, or organization in which you work
Joshua Wilborne · 
Doing a Political Science paper on Utopian & Dystopian Visions of Security.
Lester Walker · 
My son ask me what dystopian meant. I had him look up dystopian and then compare that with utopian.
Bill Templer · 
Name of a small town in the Texas Hill Country
Thavisha Wickramatunga
i am trying to research whether it relates to people who live unnatural life and suffer later for not living in harmony of their own without being contented of life god has given specifically to you.
Audy Wisely Brilliant · 
i have a project on this.
Carla Van Dyke · 
Sir Thomas More, unfortunately.
Like · Reply · 1 · Nov 1, 2013 3:27am