uto·​pia | \ yu̇-ˈtō-pē-ə How to pronounce utopia (audio) \

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 Over the next 200 or so pages, Handler shows us how members of two couples keep secrets from their partners, their motives driven by the fear — and exploitation — of the digital utopia developing in their midst. Ian Shapira, Washington Post, "Silicon Valley is a popular target for writers. How does Daniel Handler’s ‘Bottle Grove’ hold up?," 30 Aug. 2019 One step closer to the Sky Sports utopia of the top six playing each other every week. SI.com, "Bury FC Is Functionally Dead. What Next?," 28 Aug. 2019 An airplane hijacking leaves a diplomat and other Westerners in the Tibetan utopia Shangri-La. Los Angeles Times, "Here are the feature and TV films airing the week of Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019," 11 Aug. 2019 The virtuous utopias of Lenin and Mao Zedong ended in no one knows how many millions of brutal deaths. Joseph Epstein, National Review, "Our Fable of the Bees," 11 July 2019 Born at the same time as the gay liberation movement in the 1960s, the rural communes, collectives, and communities provided physical space for women to build lesbian utopias. Fortune, "Womyn’s Lands Adapt to the 21st Century: The Broadsheet," 26 Aug. 2019 Such stories of pending obsolescence are common among the living leaders of the womyn’s land movement, who began founding rural lesbian utopias in the 1960s. Rina Raphael, New York Times, "Why Doesn’t Anyone Want to Live in This Perfect Place?," 24 Aug. 2019 Rivers of mud made utopia impossible, but attendees persevered. Mark Clague, The Conversation, "Fifty years ago, Jimi Hendrix’s Woodstock anthem expressed the hopes and fears of a nation," 14 Aug. 2019 Making this case for a family-free utopia today is far from easy. Nora Caplan-bricker, The New Republic, "Choose Your Own Family," 4 June 2019

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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Statistics for utopia

Last Updated

2 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for utopia

The first known use of utopia was in 1533

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More Definitions for utopia


How to pronounce utopia (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of utopia

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

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Comments on utopia

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


to spread as a report or rumor

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