noun, often capitalized
ar·​ca·​dia | \ är-ˈkā-dē-ə How to pronounce arcadia (audio) \

Definition of arcadia

: a region or scene of simple pleasure and quiet

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Arcadia is a mountainous, landlocked region of Greece. The Roman poet Virgil recognized that Arcadia's isolation and bucolic character make it a perfect setting for pastoral poetry, and over the centuries many other writers have agreed. In the poems of Arcadia, naive and ideal innocence is often unaffected by the passions of the larger world. Shepherds play their pipes and sigh with longing for flirtatious nymphs; shepherdesses sing to their flocks; and goat-footed nature gods cavort in the fields and woods. Now English speakers often use arcadia to designate a place of rustic innocence and simple, quiet pleasure. Arcadian can mean "idyllically pastoral" or "idyllically innocent, simple, or untroubled."

Examples of arcadia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web When the bulldozer returned a few days later, Ms. Park confronted it again, but this time she was joined by dozens of her neighbors in the south Indian arcadia of Auroville. New York Times, 5 Mar. 2022 The spareness feels like richness, an arcadia of silence and stillness that trains our attention on the actors’ every word and gesture. Elaine Blair, The New York Review of Books, 17 Dec. 2020 Reading becomes our temporary escape—our own arcadia. Tess Taylor, WSJ, 7 May 2021 But the house’s sprawling 24-acre grounds, a pastoral arcadia that looked ripped from the pages of Beatrix Potter, eventually won them over. Spencer Bailey, Town & Country, 27 Mar. 2021 Capofaro, its sharpest hotel, with new suites, sits in an organic arcadia of wildflowers, vines, and herbs, all used in-house (highlights: the Ragusano cheese, the homegrown loquats). Antonia Quirke, Condé Nast Traveler, 22 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'arcadia.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of arcadia

1847, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for arcadia

Arcadia, region of ancient Greece frequently chosen as background for pastoral poetry

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The first known use of arcadia was in 1847

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Dictionary Entries Near arcadia

Arcades ambo



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Cite this Entry

“Arcadia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for arcadia

Arcadia geographical name

Ar·​ca·​dia | \ är-ˈkā-dē-ə How to pronounce Arcadia (audio) \

Definition of Arcadia

1 city in southwestern California east-northeast of Los Angeles population 56,364
2 mountainous region of southern Greece in the central part of the Peloponnese

— see also arcadian sense 2

More from Merriam-Webster on arcadia

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for arcadia Encyclopedia article about arcadia


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