icon

noun \ ˈī-ˌkän \
variants: or less commonly
Updated on: 9 Dec 2017

Definition of icon

1 : a usually pictorial representation : image
2
[Late Greek eikōn, from Greek]
: a conventional religious image typically painted on a small wooden panel and used in the devotions of Eastern Christians
3 : an object of uncritical devotion : idol
4 : emblem, symbol
  • the house became an icon of 1960's residential architecture
  • —Paul Goldberger
5 a : a sign (such as a word or graphic symbol) whose form suggests its meaning
b : a graphic symbol on a computer display screen that represents an object (such as a file) or function (such as the command to delete)

Examples of icon in a Sentence

  1. Click on the icon to open your e-mail program.

  2. He has become an icon in the movie business.

  3. a singer who has become a pop icon

  4. The Statue of Liberty has become an American cultural icon.

Recent Examples of icon from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of icon

Latin, from Greek eikōn, from eikenai to resemble

icon Synonyms

Synonyms
god, hero, idol (also ikon)
Antonyms
nobody, noncelebrity
Related Words
beau ideal, classic, exemplar, ideal, model, nonpareil, paragon
Near Antonyms
lightweight, mediocrity; has-been

Other Fine Arts Terms


icon-

combining form
variants: or icono-

Definition of icon-

: image
  • iconolatry

Origin and Etymology of icon-

Greek eikon-, eikono-, from eikon-, eikōn


ICON Defined for English Language Learners

icon

noun

Definition of icon for English Language Learners

  • computers : a small picture on a computer screen that represents a program or function

  • : a person who is very successful and admired

  • : a widely known symbol


ICON Defined for Kids

icon

noun \ ˈī-ˌkän \

Definition of icon for Students

1 : a widely known symbol
  • The Statue of Liberty has become an icon of freedom.
2 : a person who is very successful or admired
  • a pop icon
3 : a religious image usually painted on a small wooden panel
4 : a small picture or symbol on a computer screen that represents a function that the computer can perform


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