Meaning of Erewhonian in English:


Pronunciation /ɛrɪˈwəʊnɪən/


  • Relating to or characteristic of the book Erewhon (1872) by Samuel Butler or the utopia it describes.

    ‘the views of an Erewhonian prophet concerning the rights of animals’
    • ‘The first 43 pages move the narrator from his life as a New Zealand shepherd across the mountains to the hidden Erewhonian civilization.’
    • ‘According to Erewhonian law, offenders are treated as if they were ill whilst ill people are looked upon as criminals.’
    • ‘However, the focus of the book is England — which he satirised through his description of Erewhonian society.’
    • ‘He finally makes his escape by means of a balloon, in which he carries off a lovely Erewhonian maiden.’
    • ‘The great danger, warned an Erewhonian radical, was not so much the existing machines as the runaway speed at which they were evolving.’


  • An inhabitant of Erewhon.

    ‘his Erewhonians destroy most of their machines to preserve their humanity’
    • ‘To talk about the continued relevance of the book can pick you out as a modern Erewhonian.’
    • ‘Why do the Erewhonians approach death without excessive disappointment?’
    • ‘For instance, the Erewhonians' birth mythology accounts for unconscious memories lingering within a person.’
    • ‘Erewhon, set in a thinly disguised New Zealand, ended with the escape of its protagonist from the native Erewhonians by balloon.’
    • ‘He takes a liking to the jailer's young daughter Yram with whom he converses and from whom he learns about the culture of Erewhonians.’


Late 19th century from the title of Erewhon (a partial reversal of Nowhere) + -ian.