icon

noun
\ ˈī-ˌkän \
variants: or less commonly

Definition of icon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

Definition of icon- (Entry 2 of 2)

: image iconolatry

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for icon

Synonyms: Noun

god, hero, idol

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of icon in a Sentence

Noun

Click on the icon to open your e-mail program. He has become an icon in the movie business. a singer who has become a pop icon The Statue of Liberty has become an American cultural icon.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Singaporeans frequent this consumerist icon in Little India for everything from Himalayan pink salt to high-end electronics and gold bars. Robyn Eckhardt, WSJ, "Two Strategic Days in Singapore: Where to Splurge, Where to Save," 4 Jan. 2019 If a Hollywood icon with the vocal support of stars like Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, and Dave Bautista couldn’t escape the wrath of Twitter, what hope did an ordinary person have? Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "The year of deleted tweets," 27 Dec. 2018 As a symbol of how mobility companies are also starting to think about storage, DIY street design site Streetmix just added icons for bike-share stations, ride-hailing drop-off, and food trucks. Alexandra Lange, Curbed, "Let’s organize the city outside our front door with as much care as we do our homes," 30 Aug. 2018 Since then, the new duchess has settled into her role as an international fashion icon. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, "All the details on Duchess Meghan's week of flawless fashion," 12 July 2018 Columbus, Indiana, which has been ranked as one of the top cities in the U.S. for architecture by the American Institute of Architects, is adorned with numerous notable buildings by modernist icons. Allie Weiss, ELLE Decor, "5 Midcentury-Modern Landmarks You Need to See in the Midwest," 6 Dec. 2018 The stylist, accidental beauty entrepreneur, and, now, icon of agelessness, radiated something beyond great genes and a lit-from-within sunniness. refinery29.com, "Linda Rodin’s Rise To Accidental Style Icon," 12 July 2018 Then, with a few splashes and powerful flaps of their wings, the others followed suit, joining the squadrons of pelicans that have for generations been icons of the coast, soaring over the Golden Gate. Erin Stone, SFChronicle.com, "Once injured, starving pelicans are rehabilitated, freed on San Francisco Bay shoreline," 29 June 2018 Groupy is available for $4.99 on its own or as part of Stardock’s Object Desktop, which also gives you the Fences utility to help organize your desktop icons. Tom Warren, The Verge, "The 9 best apps for your new Windows PC," 27 Dec. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of icon

Noun

1572, in the meaning defined at sense 5

History and Etymology for icon

Noun

Latin, from Greek eikōn, from eikenai to resemble

Combining form

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about icon

Dictionary Entries near icon

ickle

icky

ICO

icon

icon-

Iconian

iconic

Statistics for icon

Last Updated

5 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for icon

The first known use of icon was in 1572

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for icon

icon

noun

English Language Learners Definition of icon

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

noun
\ ˈī-ˌkän\

Kids Definition of icon

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on icon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with icon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for icon

Spanish Central: Translation of icon

Nglish: Translation of icon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of icon for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about icon

Comments on icon

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

WORD OF THE DAY

esteemed in general opinion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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