[shang-gruh-lah, shang-gruh-lah]
  1. an imaginary paradise on earth, especially a remote and exotic utopia.
  2. a faraway haven or hideaway of idyllic beauty and tranquility.

Origin of Shangri-la

after the fictional Tibetan land of eternal youth in the novel The Lost Horizon (1933) by James Hilton Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for shangri-la

Eden, heaven, bliss, paradise, Arcadia, Erewhon, Xanadu

Examples from the Web for shangri-la

Contemporary Examples of shangri-la

Historical Examples of shangri-la

  • First you get me drunk—only I'm not high any more—then you take me to Shangri-La.

    The Five Arrows

    Allan Chase

British Dictionary definitions for shangri-la


  1. a remote or imaginary utopia

Word Origin for Shangri-la

C20: from the name of an imaginary valley in the Himalayas, from Lost Horizon (1933), a novel by James Hilton
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

shangri-la in Culture


A fictional land of peace and perpetual youth; the setting for the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by the English author James Hilton, but probably best known from the movie versions. Shangri-La is supposedly in the mountains of Tibet.


A “Shangri-La,” by extension, is an ideal refuge from the troubles of the world.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.