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See more synonyms for dystopia on Thesaurus.com
  1. a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding.
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Compare Utopia.

Origin of dystopia

First recorded in 1865–70; dys- + (U)topia
Related formsdys·to·pi·an, adjectivedys·to·pi·an·ism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for dystopia


  1. an imaginary place where everything is as bad as it can be
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Derived Formsdystopian, adjective, noun

Word Origin

C19 (coined by John Stuart Mill): from dys- + Utopia
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

Word Origin and History for dystopia


"imaginary bad place," 1868, apparently coined by J.S. Mill ("Hansard Commons"), from Greek dys- "bad, abnormal, difficult" (see dys-) + utopia. Related: Dystopian.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

dystopia in Medicine


  1. An abnormal position, as of an organ or a body part.malposition
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Related formsdys•topic (-tŏpĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.