a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding.

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. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for dystopia



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

Word Origin for dystopia

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

dystopia in Medicine




An abnormal position, as of an organ or a body part.malposition
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.