ei·​do·​lon | \ ī-ˈdō-lən How to pronounce eidolon (audio) \
plural eidolons\ ī-​ˈdō-​lənz How to pronounce eidolon (audio) \ or eidola\ ī-​ˈdō-​lə How to pronounce eidolon (audio) \

Definition of eidolon

1 : an unsubstantial image : phantom
2 : ideal

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of eidolon in a Sentence

an industrialist who remains an eidolon of the visionary and ambitious self-made man
Recent Examples on the Web To enlist Helen, rather than the more popular The Trojan Women, for an antiwar theme makes sense especially in the wake of the conflict in Iraq: Helen posits that a decade-long war was fought and a civilization destroyed over a mirage, an eidolon. Lidija Haas, Harper's Magazine, "New Books," 27 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'eidolon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of eidolon

1828, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for eidolon

Greek eidōlon — more at idol

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about eidolon

Time Traveler for eidolon

Time Traveler

The first known use of eidolon was in 1828

See more words from the same year

Statistics for eidolon

Cite this Entry

“Eidolon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eidolon. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

More from Merriam-Webster on eidolon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for eidolon

Comments on eidolon

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!