Xanadu

play
noun Xan·a·du \ˈza-nə-ˌdü, -ˌdyü\

Definition of Xanadu

  1. :  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.

Origin and Etymology of xanadu

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


First Known Use: 1919


Learn More about xanadu


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).

WORD OF THE DAY

a Mesopotamian temple tower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • alphabet-magnets
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ