[roo r-i-tey-nee-uh, roo r-i-tey-]
  1. a mythical, romantic kingdom conceived as the setting for a fairy tale, costume drama, comic operetta, or the like.
  2. Facetious. any small, little-known country or region considered remote, backward, or exotic.

Origin of Ruritania

after the fictional Central European kingdom in the novel The Prisoner of Zenda (1894) by A. Hope
Related formsRu·ri·ta·ni·an, adjective, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ruritanian

Historical Examples of ruritanian

British Dictionary definitions for ruritanian


  1. of or relating to Ruritania
  2. involving adventure, romance, and intrigue
  1. a native or inhabitant of Ruritania


  1. an imaginary kingdom of central Europe: setting of several novels by English novelist Anthony Hope (1863–1933), esp The Prisoner of Zenda (1894)
  2. any setting of adventure, romance, and intrigue
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 ruritanian



"utopian," 1896, from Ruritania, name of an imaginary kingdom in "The Prisoner of Zenda" (1894) by Anthony Hope (1863-1933), who coined it from Latin rus (genitive ruris) "country" (see rural) + Latinate ending -itania (cf. Mauritania).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper