icon·ic | \ī-ˈkä-nik \

Definition of iconic 

1 : of, relating to, or having the characteristics of an icon

2a : widely recognized and well-established an iconic brand name

b : widely known and acknowledged especially for distinctive excellence an iconic writer a region's iconic wines

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Other Words from iconic

iconically \ī-ˈkä-ni-k(ə-)lē \ adverb

Did You Know?

The original meaning of iconic was essentially "resembling an icon", but today it more often seems to mean "so admired that it could be the subject of an icon". And with that meaning, iconic has become part of the language of advertising and publicity; today companies and magazines and TV hosts are constantly encouraging us to think of some consumer item or pop star or show as first-rate or immortal or flawless—absolutely "iconic"—when he or she or it is actually nothing of the kind.

Examples of iconic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The Spy Who Loved Me’ In one of the most iconic cold opens of the franchise, 007 takes out a handful of would-be assassins while swooshing down the Austrian Alps. WSJ, "A Nearly Nude Take on James-Bond Style," 6 July 2018 The Sunset Parade hasn’t changed much since it was begun in 1956, two years after the iconic Iwo Jima sculpture was dedicated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Steve Hendrix, Washington Post, "Precision, patriotism and a new stage for a beloved Marine tradition," 11 June 2018 Downtown, mystic’s iconic Bascule Bridge stretches across the Mystic River, and is open to pedestrians too. Laura Kiniry, Smithsonian, "The 20 Best Small Towns To Visit in 2018," 5 June 2018 The blue and white Air Force One owes its iconic look to President John F. Kennedy and his wife Jackie. Kris Van Cleave, CBS News, "What would a new Air Force One look like under Trump?," 12 July 2018 The liftoff of James Webb, the successor to the agency’s iconic Hubble Space Telescope, has been pushed back from May 2020 to March 2021, NASA officials announced today (June 27). Mike Wall, Scientific American, "NASA Defers Launch of James Webb Space Telescope Again—This Time to 2021," 27 June 2018 It was only taken 11 days ago, but the picture of Donald Trump sitting at the G7 summit, his arms crossed and a smirk on his face, as German chancellor Angela Merkel stares him down, has already become iconic. Adam K. Raymond, Daily Intelligencer, "A Crabby Trump Tossed Two Starburst to Merkel at G7: ‘Don’t Say I Never Gave You Anything’," 21 June 2018 These nesting dolls serve as an iconic symbol of Russian culture and tradition. Elizabeth Myong, Houston Chronicle, "Russians in Houston have diverse views on international affairs," 8 July 2018 The comeback against Boston would have become iconic if the Flyers hadn’t lost to Chicago in the Finals. Sam Carchidi, Philly.com, "Flyers' James van Riemsdyk signing brings back memories of Danny Briere," 6 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of iconic

1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for iconic

Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for iconic

The first known use of iconic was in 1656

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More from Merriam-Webster on iconic

Nglish: Translation of iconic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of iconic for Arabic Speakers

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