Definition of utopia in English:
- A utopia is not a portrait of the real world, or of the actual political or social order.
- Education, Democracy and thus high taxation are necessary parts of what I imagine to be utopia.
- Many scholars have made a Utopia from an egalitarian society in which coteries of artists wined and dined their rich and enlightened patrons.
Mid 16th century: based on Greek ou 'not' + topos 'place'; the word was first used in the book Utopia (1516) by Sir Thomas More.
The English scholar and statesman Sir Thomas More wrote Utopia in Latin in 1516, depicting an imaginary island enjoying a perfect social, legal, and political system. The name implies that such an ideal place exists ‘nowhere’, as More created it from Greek ou ‘not’, and topos ‘place’ the source of terms such as topography (mid 17th century), the arrangement of the physical features of an area. In the 17th century other writers started using utopia for other imaginary places where everything is perfect. The opposite of a utopia is a dystopia where everything is as bad as possible, a word formed in the late 18th century from Greek dus- ‘bad’, as if More had formed the word from Greek eu- ‘good’. Cacotopia or kakotopia (early 19th century) are less popular alternatives to dystopia. Topia has recently come to be used as a combining form for new words such as ecotopia, an ideal ecological world; motopia, a slightly misleading term as it means an ideal world where the use of cars is limited; pornotopia, the ideal setting for pornography; queuetopia, a far from ideal world of long queues; and subtopia, the ideal suburban world.
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.