Definition of Xanadu
: an idyllic, exotic, or luxurious place
Xanadu was our Word of the Day on 11/26/2015. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan / A stately pleasure-dome decree. Those lines are from the poem "Kubla Khan" (published in 1816) by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Coleridge's fantastic description of an exotic utopia fired public imagination and ultimately contributed to the transition of "Xanadu" from a name to a generalized term for an idyllic place. The Xanadu in the poem was inspired by Shang-tu, the summer residence of Mongolian general and statesman Kublai Khan (grandson of Genghis Khan). You might also recognize "Xanadu" as the name of the fantastic estate in Orson Welles's 1941 film Citizen Kane.
Origin and Etymology of xanadu
Xanadu, locality in Kubla Khan (1798), poem by Samuel T. Coleridge
First Known Use: 1919
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up Xanadu? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).