uto·​pia | \ yu̇-ˈtō-pē-ə How to pronounce utopia (audio) \

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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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 Inspired by Peach Blossom Spring, the highwaymen have tried to create a bandit utopia. James Mcelroy, Washington Examiner, "A Chinese guide to our cultural revolution," 31 Dec. 2020 With some futuristic sounds and slightly robotic voices mixed in, the song is like a gateway to a dream utopia. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "20 of the Best Sleeping Songs to Listen to When You’re Lying Awake at Night," 26 Dec. 2020 While Yago is living in his own utopia, Giovana feels trapped deep inside. Los Angeles Times Staff, Los Angeles Times, "Here’s what’s screening at the Sundance Film Festival 2021," 15 Dec. 2020 While Yago is living in his own utopia, Giovana feels trapped deep inside. Mary Sollosi, EW.com, "Sundance Film Festival announces lineup for 2021 digital fest, including starry directorial debuts," 15 Dec. 2020 After beating the game, the player is rewarded with a real-life breathing exercise in a virtual utopia. Los Angeles Times, "Video games are the new runway. Coveted fashion brands are loving it," 4 Dec. 2020 What good is a stroll through a winter utopia without at least some smooching? Gena Kaufman, Glamour, "27 Christmas Love Songs, Ranked in Terms of Their Mistletoe Potential," 2 Dec. 2020 The earth proves to have a subbasement utopia of pale, wise beings who fear and marvel at their visitors. Paul Collins, The New Yorker, "A Quest to Discover America’s First Science-Fiction Writer," 28 Nov. 2020 Intended as a utopia, this society was worked by indentured servants and transported slaves: Africans were for a long time the largest social group. Rana Dasgupta, Harper's Magazine, "The Silenced Majority," 24 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for utopia

Time Traveler

The first known use of utopia was in 1533

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Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Utopia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/utopia. Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce utopia (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of utopia

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

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