Definition of Erewhonian in English:



  • Relating to or characteristic of the book Erewhon (1872) by Samuel Butler or the utopia it describes.

    ‘the views of an Erewhonian prophet concerning the rights of animals’
    • ‘He finally makes his escape by means of a balloon, in which he carries off a lovely Erewhonian maiden.’
    • ‘According to Erewhonian law, offenders are treated as if they were ill whilst ill people are looked upon as criminals.’
    • ‘The first 43 pages move the narrator from his life as a New Zealand shepherd across the mountains to the hidden Erewhonian civilization.’
    • ‘However, the focus of the book is England — which he satirised through his description of Erewhonian society.’
    • ‘The great danger, warned an Erewhonian radical, was not so much the existing machines as the runaway speed at which they were evolving.’


  • An inhabitant of Erewhon.

    ‘his Erewhonians destroy most of their machines to preserve their humanity’
    • ‘Erewhon, set in a thinly disguised New Zealand, ended with the escape of its protagonist from the native Erewhonians by balloon.’
    • ‘For instance, the Erewhonians' birth mythology accounts for unconscious memories lingering within a person.’
    • ‘Why do the Erewhonians approach death without excessive disappointment?’
    • ‘To talk about the continued relevance of the book can pick you out as a modern Erewhonian.’
    • ‘He takes a liking to the jailer's young daughter Yram with whom he converses and from whom he learns about the culture of Erewhonians.’


Late 19th century: from the title of Erewhon (a partial reversal of Nowhere) + -ian.