“He dreamed of a utopian society where all animals relaxed together on the beach.”

What is the best definition of utopian?

Check your answer!

Choice A - Characterized by realism and practicality
Choice B - Characterized by oppression and malady
Choice C - Pertaining to a world emerging from chaos and ruin
Choice D - Related to a perfect or idealized world


Utopian (adjective) – having to do with a perfect world where everyone is happy; or, visionary or idealistic in nature

Utopia (noun) – an ideal society that strives for perfection

GRE pro tips:

Utopia comes from the Greek roots ou (“not”) and topos (“place”), as in topology and topography. These roots makes sense because a utopia – a perfect world or society – is not a real place; it is not likely to occur in real life. However, this hasn’t prevented people from dreaming up the notion of utopian societies, where everyone is happy and human suffering is a thing of the past.

Of course, utopian is the opposite of dystopian, which describes societies that are oppressive and dehumanizing. Such societies are often depicted in literary fiction – for example, in the Hunger Games or in books you’ve likely read in school, such as Brave New World, 1984, and The Lord of the Flies. In fiction – as in real life – such dystopias result from failed societies that promised to be utopian in the first place.

Example sentences:

“My idea of a utopian world is one where I get free ice cream and get to eat it every day.”

“Shortly before his death, the philosopher urged the world to see peace not as a utopian dream but as a practical goal.”