Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

iconoclast

play
noun icon·o·clast \-ˌklast\

Simple Definition of iconoclast

  • : a person who criticizes or opposes beliefs and practices that are widely accepted

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of iconoclast

  1. 1 :  a person who destroys religious images or opposes their veneration

  2. 2 :  a person who attacks settled beliefs or institutions

iconoclastic

play \(ˌ)ī-ˌkä-nə-ˈklas-tik\ adjective

iconoclastically

play \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of iconoclast in a sentence

  1. <notorious as an iconoclast, that music critic isn't afraid to go after sacred cows>



Did You Know?

Iconoclast is a word that often shows up on vocabulary lists and College Board tests. How will you remember the meaning of this vocabulary-boosting term? If you already know the word icon, you're halfway there. An "icon" is a picture that represents something, and is often a religious image. "Icon" comes from the Greek eikōn, which is from eikenai, meaning "to resemble." "Iconoclast" comes to us by way of Medieval Latin from Middle Greek eikonoklastēs, which joins "eikōn" with a form of the word klan, meaning "to break." "Iconoclast" literally means "image destroyer."

Origin and Etymology of iconoclast

Medieval Latin iconoclastes, from Middle Greek eikonoklastēs, literally, image destroyer, from Greek eikono- + klan to break — more at clast


First Known Use: 1641

Other Religion (Eastern and Other) Terms

Rhymes with iconoclast



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up iconoclast? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

prophetic or oracular

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

confounded-person

Which is a synonym of indolent?

philistine frenetic melancholy lazy
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ