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[yoo-toh-pee-uh] /yuˈtoʊ pi ə/
an imaginary island described in Sir Thomas More's Utopia (1516) as enjoying perfection in law, politics, etc.
(usually lowercase) an ideal place or state.
(usually lowercase) any visionary system of political or social perfection.
Origin of Utopia
< New Latin (1516) < Greek ou not + tóp(os) a place + -ia -y3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Utopia
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They are said, though it is not easy to believe, to have been elaborated by way of Utopia.

  • And 'the secret has perished' with him; to this day the place of Utopia remains unknown.

    The Republic Plato
  • The 'New Atlantis' is only a fragment, and far inferior in merit to the 'Utopia.'

    The Republic Plato
  • I have at last seen the Utopia at Paris printed, but with many misprints.

  • If we cannot hope to turn it into Utopia, let us at least make it as much like Utopia as we can.

British Dictionary definitions for Utopia


(sometimes not capital) any real or imaginary society, place, state, etc, considered to be perfect or ideal
Word Origin
C16: from New Latin Utopia (coined by Sir Thomas More in 1516 as the title of his book that described an imaginary island representing the perfect society), literally: no place, from Greek ou not + topos a place
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Utopia



1550s, from Modern Latin Utopia, literally "nowhere," coined by Thomas More (and used as title of his book, 1516, about an imaginary island enjoying perfect legal, social, and political systems), from Greek ou "not" + topos "place" (see topos). Extended to "any perfect place," 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Utopia in Culture

Utopia definition

(1516) A book by Sir Thomas More that describes an imaginary ideal society free of poverty and suffering. The expression utopia is coined from Greek words and means “no place.”

Note: By extension, a “utopia” is any ideal state.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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