Word of the Day : November 26, 2015

Xanadu

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noun ZAN-uh-doo

Definition

: 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 and as the name of a 1980 musical film starring Olivia Newton-John.


Examples

To Arthur, the beach house was a Xanadu, the perfect spot for the romantic tropical vacation he had dreamed of for years.

"Others traveled to Tolchester Beach, the Xanadu of the Chesapeake, aboard Wilson Line steamers…." — Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun, 31 July 2015



Test Your Memory

What former Word of the Day meaning "lavish" or "luxurious" begins with "L" and is based on the name of an ancient Roman general known for his magnificent banquets?

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