October 14, 2019
dystopia (noun)
\diss-TOH-pee-uh\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: an imaginary place where people are unhappy and usually afraid because they are not treated fairly
How do you use it?
The book _The Hunger Games_ is set in a dystopia whose geography is similar to the geography of the United States.
Are you a word wiz?

Where did "dystopia" come from?

"Dystopia" was coined in 1950 from the Greek root "dys-," which means "bad," and "topos," the Greek word for "place." The word "dystopia" was influenced by a far older word: "utopia," which refers to a perfect world and which is often contrasted with "dystopia." But even though "utopia" describes a perfect place, it comes from the Greek "ou," meaning "no," and "topos," meaning "place." (In other words, there is no perfect place.) "Dystopia" appeared during what is sometimes called "The Golden Age of Science Fiction," where it came in very handy. It's been in common use since.
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