noun \ˈī-dəl\

: a greatly loved or admired person

: a picture or object that is worshipped as a god

Full Definition of IDOL

:  a representation or symbol of an object of worship; broadly :  a false god
a :  a likeness of something
b obsolete :  pretender, impostor
:  a form or appearance visible but without substance <an enchanted phantom, a lifeless idol — P. B. Shelley>
:  an object of extreme devotion <a movie idol>; also :  ideal 2
:  a false conception :  fallacy

Examples of IDOL

  1. an actor who is the idol of millions
  2. <a movie idol whose reprehensible offscreen behavior caused him to experience a spectacular fall from grace>

Origin of IDOL

Middle English, from Anglo-French idle, from Late Latin idolum, from Greek eidōlon image, idol; akin to Greek eidos form — more at idyll
First Known Use: 13th century

Related to IDOL

Other Religion (Eastern and Other) Terms

Zen, antinomian, avatar, gnosticism, illuminati, ineffable, karma, koan, mantra

Rhymes with IDOL


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Image or statue of a deity used as an object of worship. In Judaism, the making of any representation of God is strictly forbidden, as is the fashioning of any “graven image.” Islam has also adhered to this rule. In Christianity, there has been a general acceptance of pictorial or sculpted images of Jesus and the saints and, on occasion, God, and Christianity has thus always faced the danger that such representations could be venerated superstitiously as idols. In Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism images of gods and saints are common; they are often the object of veneration. In Hinduism, a statue may be treated as a god as an act of devotion but loses its special status when the act of devotion is finished (see Durga-puja, puja).


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