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A.Word.A.Day--dystopia

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

This week's theme: lesser-known counterparts of common words.

dystopia (dis-TO-pee-uh) noun

An imaginary place where everything is very bad, as from oppression, disease, deprivation, etc.

[From Greek dys- (bad) + utopia (an ideal place). Modeled after Utopia, an imaginary island described in Sir Thomas More's 1516 book Utopia as a place enjoying a perfect system in law, politics, etc. The word utopia is from Greek ou (not) + topos (place).]

See more usage examples of dystopia in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

-Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)

"Aldous Huxley's Brave New World is a good model of the technological dystopia we should fear: Instead of social control enforced from the outside, Huxley envisioned a world enervated from within." Jeffrey Klein; Billing Us Softly; Mother Jones (San Francisco); Jan 11, 1998.

X-Bonus

We lie the loudest when we lie to ourselves. -Eric Hoffer, philosopher and author (1902-1983)

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