dys·​to·​pi·​an | \ (ˌ)dis-ˈtō-pē-ən How to pronounce dystopian (audio) \
variants: or less commonly dystopic \ (ˌ)dis-​ˈtō-​pik How to pronounce dystopic (audio) , -​ˈtä-​ How to pronounce dystopic (audio) \

Definition of dystopian

: of, relating to, or being an imagined world or society in which people lead dehumanized, fearful lives : relating to or characteristic of a dystopia A twisted romantic haunted by dystopian visions, Gibson borrows the language of science fiction and crafts doomed love stories with high-tech trappings.— Maitland McDonagh Dystopian visions are in a sense mythopoeic: depicting a creation myth in a future world of darkness and silence.— Sarah Lefanu Biotechnology is a force for good, but without adherence to the ideal of universal human equality, it opens the door to the soft tyranny of Gattaca and, ultimately the dystopian nightmare of Brave New World.— Wesley J. Smith Like many advances in science and technology, the dystopian implications of data mining have been described best by science-fiction writers.— John Markoff … Orwellian has become a word itself: an adjective denoting a dystopic world where language is cut adrift from meaning.— Harvey A. Daniels Letter by letter, we read of a society that seems to move from one dystopic nightmare to another …— Simon Winchester

First Known Use of dystopian

1962, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dystopian

dystopian from dystopia + -an entry 2; dystopic from dystopia + -ic entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dystopian

Dictionary Entries near dystopian








Statistics for dystopian

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dystopian

The first known use of dystopian was in 1962

See more words from the same year

Comments on dystopian

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


transposition of initial sounds of words

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Word Puzzles

  • alt 57589b2b4c6a3
  • Which answer pairs best with each of the following words? living, estate, club, music, road, mile
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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