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

There are few Hollywood A-listers as prolific and, well, iconic, as Julia Roberts. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Julia Roberts Just Proved Why 50 Is the New 30," 3 Dec. 2018 In a city of iconic, ultraluxury properties, including the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, real-estate prices have fallen over 15% since 2015, according to the Central Bank. Nicolas Parasie, WSJ, "‘White-Collar Recession’ Ripples Through Dubai’s Economy," 14 Nov. 2018 Plus, without the right cotton pad, micellar waters and toners, which are essential aspects of Korea's iconic 10-step routine, become basically useless. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Korean Cotton Pads Are the Secret to a Proper K-Beauty Skin Routine," 4 Oct. 2018 The home’s clean lines and transparent walls are reminiscent of the style of German-American architect Mies van der Rohe and especially his most iconic building, the Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Mies-inspired glass house could be yours for $575K," 10 Sep. 2018 Those flowing capes are iconic, but in the next wizarding movie, Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s go-to garbs will look totally different. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Fantastic Beasts Costume Designer Says Hogwarts Robes Are Getting a MAJOR Upgrade in the New Movie," 23 Aug. 2018 Along the way, the plates themselves have become iconic, recycled into coffee tables, museum pieces, even fine art sculptures. Eric Betz, Discover Magazine, "A Heavenly Disk To Map The Universe," 13 Aug. 2018 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles Sure, the Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most iconic (and scenic) routes on the map. Mara Balagtas, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Convertible Drives Across the U.S.," 26 July 2018 Ahead of the July 4 headliners' 7:30 p.m. performance, iconic Journey and Def Leppard songs played over speakers at stages across the grounds. Samantha West, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Is rock dead? No way, says folks going to Journey and Def Leppard at Summerfest," 4 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

11 Dec 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

Comments on iconic

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


a knickknack or trinket

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