Xanadu

noun
Xan·​a·​du | \ ˈza-nə-ˌdü How to pronounce Xanadu (audio) , -ˌdyü \

Definition of Xanadu

: an idyllic, exotic, or luxurious place

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.

First Known Use of Xanadu

1919, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Xanadu

Xanadu, locality in Kubla Khan (1798), poem by Samuel T. Coleridge

Learn More About Xanadu

Listen to Our Podcast About Xanadu

Dictionary Entries Near Xanadu

Xalapa

Xanadu

Xancidae

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for Xanadu

Cite this Entry

“Xanadu.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Xanadu. Accessed 16 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!