Definition of utopia in US English:



  • An imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect. The word was first used in the book Utopia (1516) by Sir Thomas More.

    The opposite of dystopia
    • ‘Hence the long and sad history of various utopias, of ‘ideal’ political systems, and of men and women who really did believe themselves to be fully in control of their destinies.’
    • ‘A utopia is not a portrait of the real world, or of the actual political or social order.’
    • ‘Wilson sought to achieve a utopia, in which all nations would adhere strictly to moral principles.’
    • ‘Some £110 bn has been spent on the area since the socialist utopia vanished.’
    • ‘Something strange happened on the road to our much-celebrated post-industrial utopia.’
    • ‘The social utopia you crave is an anathema to a majority.’
    • ‘Education, Democracy and thus high taxation are necessary parts of what I imagine to be utopia.’
    • ‘The utopia that the settlers sought always remained beyond their grasp.’
    • ‘Many scholars have made a Utopia from an egalitarian society in which coteries of artists wined and dined their rich and enlightened patrons.’
    • ‘In utopia, every citizen has immediate access to the appropriate specialist for medical consultation.’
    • ‘His stories were dreams of technological utopias in which nightmares of personal and political dystopia were played out.’
    • ‘"Brooklyn's a place that has taken on an identity as this sort of creative utopia," Butler said.’
    • ‘Predictably enough, a murder-free utopia soon starts to look mighty dystopic.’
    • ‘These meetings put into practice and hold out hope for a utopia based not on economic but spiritual prosperity.’
    • ‘People seem to regard Fire Island as a utopia, and it's not hard to discern why.’
    • ‘In many Utopias, including that of Sir Thomas More and the Utopian communities of William Lane in Paraguay, divine peace and justice would only be achieved by a strong central authority with the power to oversee all aspects of society.’
    • ‘No utopias have been enduringly successful.’
    • ‘He wanted to create an ideal city, an urban utopia, and wrote the charter for it.’
    • ‘Scholars suggest that all Utopias since Plato have been but variations of the model provided by Plato, possibly with the exception of that portrayed in the teachings of Jesus.’
    • ‘His failure to understand human aspirations made utopias hard to find.’
    ideal place, paradise, heaven, heaven on earth, eden, garden of eden, shangri-la, elysium, the elysian fields, happy valley, seventh heaven, idyll, nirvana, bliss
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Mid 16th century: based on Greek ou ‘not’ + topos ‘place’; the word was first used in the book Utopia (1516) by Sir Thomas More.