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A generalised application of Futurama, the name of an exhibit-cum-ride at the 1939–40 New York World’s Fair that presented a possible model of the world twenty years thence (1959–60). The name of the exhibit derives from the English word future and the suffix -rama, meaning "a wide view of", which ultimately comes from the Ancient Greek word ὅρᾱμᾰ (hórāma, a sight”, “a spectacle”, “a speculation) — as in panorama or diorama.


  • IPA(key): /ˌfjuːt͡ʃəˈɹɑːmə/


futurama (plural futuramas)

  1. A palpable depiction of a (usually sensational) vision of the future.
    • 1940, Edward Roberts Barnsley, Agricultural Societies of Bucks County, PA[1], page 1:
      Today we are apt to think of a fair as a mileless potpourri of trylons and flood-lighted futuramas, but in the yesterdays of our greatgrandfathers, a fair meant a cattle show.
    • 1942, Air Transportation I–III, page 29/2:
      Under these circumstances, it is no surprise that the public lately has been treated in word and print to futuramas of air commerce showing winged leviathans, flying box-cars, trains of mammoth gliders and immense helicopters filling the heavens.
    • 1980, Jascha Frederick Kessler, in: New Lugano Review III, page 32:
      The great New York World’s Fair of my childhood, erected on top of the garbage dumps that had filled the swamps of old, making marvelous futuramas out of the midden of the present.
    • 2006, Roger Carswell, Where Is God in a Messed-up World?[2], page 61:
      The book of Revelation, which describes [John’s glimpse of eternity], has to be the greatest futurama of all time.
    • 2007, Robert Levit and Evonne Levy, “Design Will Save the World! On Bruce Mau’s Massive Change and the Mediatization of Culture” in The New Architectural Pragmatism, ed. William S. Saunders, page 162:
      With its emphasis on technology, its ebullient optimism, and boundless claims for design’s responsibility and power, MC is a cross between a world’s fair, a futurama, and a technology expo.
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:futurama.

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