from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An imaginary place or state in which the condition of life is extremely bad, as from deprivation, oppression, or terror.
  • n. A work describing such a place or state: "dystopias such as Brave New World” ( Times Literary Supplement).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A vision of a future that is a corrupted (usually beyond recognition) utopian society.
  • n. A miserable, dysfunctional state or society that has a very poor standard of living.
  • n. Anatomical tissue that is not found in its usual place.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Malposition; dislocation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. state in which the conditions of life are extremely bad as from deprivation or oppression or terror
  • n. a work of fiction describing an imaginary place where life is extremely bad because of deprivation or oppression or terror


dys- + (u)topia.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Coined from Ancient Greek δυσ- (dus, "bad") + τόπος (topos, "place, region") on model of dys- +‎ utopia (retaining stem, removing u- prefix). (Wiktionary)



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