uto·​pia | \yu̇-ˈtō-pē-ə \

Definition of utopia 

1 often capitalized : a place of ideal perfection especially in laws, government, and social conditions

2 : an impractical scheme for social improvement

3 : an imaginary and indefinitely remote place

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Synonyms & Antonyms for utopia


Camelot, Eden, Elysium, heaven, never-never land, paradise, promised land, Shangri-la, Zion (also Sion)



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Did You Know?

In 1516, English humanist Sir Thomas More published a book titled Utopia. It compared social and economic conditions in Europe with those of an ideal society on an imaginary island located off the coast of the Americas. More wanted to imply that the perfect conditions on his fictional island could never really exist, so he called it Utopia, a name he created by combining the Greek words ou (meaning "no, not") and topos (meaning "place," a root used in our word topography). The earliest generic use of utopia was for an imaginary and indefinitely remote place. The current use of utopia, referring to an ideal place or society, was inspired by More's description of Utopia's perfection.

Examples of utopia in a Sentence

The town's founders wanted to create a Christian utopia. It's a nice place to live, but it's no Utopia.

Recent Examples on the Web

Located in the Pacific Ocean some 600 miles off the coast of mainland Ecuador, the archipelago of 20 volcanic islands (and dozens more islets) remains an unspoiled utopia despite hosting more than 200,000 annual visitors. Alexandra Kirkman, Fortune, "Visit the Galapagos Like a Royal," 23 June 2018 Happy endings promised a political utopia for blissful, forward-thinking couples. Benita Eisler, WSJ, "‘George Sand’ Review: Monstre Sacré," 8 June 2018 The ad also avoids mention of Ducey’s wish to turn Arizona into a utopia for self-driving cars. Richard Ruelas, azcentral, "Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey officially starts his re-election bid with message about security," 18 June 2018 Stepping inside Diptyque’s Soho pop-up store is like walking into a fragrance utopia — all of the brand’s scents are there waiting to be sprayed, alongside interactive installations begging to be explored. Shannon Barbour, The Cut, "Diptyque’s Latest Additions Will Transport You to a Mediterranean Utopia," 9 May 2018 The story springs from the ending of Excellent Adventure, in which futuristic mentor Rufus (George Carlin) predicted the duo would write music that would turn the world into a utopia. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "Whoa! 'Bill & Ted 3' is totally happening for Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter, after 27 years," 8 May 2018 This was Mendocino utopia: a place on the edge of the continent, where nature at its most untrammeled is on display, and freedom seems absolute. Jody Rosen, Smithsonian, "This Secret Corner of California Is a Paradise for Lovers of Great Food and Top-Notch Wines," 14 June 2018 Faena sees himself not as a real estate developer but as a conjurer of utopias, and Tierra Santa is clearly his most personal creation. Christopher Bagley, Condé Nast Traveler, "Alan Faena Creates La Vie Bohème in José Ignacio, Uruguay," 18 June 2018 Well, a loss of authority for the Church, which has led to a socialist utopia in Spain and an immediate backlash from a certain Gen. Franco. Tom Shippey, WSJ, "Science Fiction: A New Novel Destined to Be a Classic," 28 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of utopia

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for utopia

Utopia, imaginary and ideal country in Utopia (1516) by Sir Thomas More, from Greek ou not, no + topos place

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Statistics for utopia

Last Updated

5 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for utopia

The first known use of utopia was in 1533

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English Language Learners Definition of utopia

: an imaginary place in which the government, laws, and social conditions are perfect

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Comments on utopia

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


obstinately defiant of authority

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