iconic

adjective
icon·​ic | \ ī-ˈkä-nik How to pronounce iconic (audio) \

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 How to pronounce iconically (audio) \ 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

What resulted was perhaps the most iconic photograph ever taken of a female athlete, a depiction of pure spontaneous joy. Jeré Longman, New York Times, "The Sports Bra Seen Round the World Has New Meaning 20 Years Later," 5 July 2019 Admittedly, the iconic Louisville racetrack uses Old Forester, not Jim Beam, in its juleps, but the amount of bourbon that may have been lost could be enough for three Kentucky Derby weekends at Churchill Downs. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "A eulogy for the 6 million bottles of bourbon that may be lost in the Jim Beam fire," 3 July 2019 That means that one of Disney’s most iconic princesses is going to look quite different. Constance Grady, Vox, "Disney’s live-action Little Mermaid will star a black Ariel," 3 July 2019 Hugh Jackman at Capital One Arena: Hugh Jackman has spent nearly 20 years playing Wolverine, the most iconic of the X-Men. Washington Post, "17 things to do in the D.C. area this week," 1 July 2019 Spieth made perhaps the most iconic shot in tournament history to win this event in 2017 and won his third major, the British Open, two weeks later. Mike Anthony, courant.com, "Mike Anthony: Spieth’s body language, and his snowman, tell the story of his miserable day at the Travelers Championship," 21 June 2019 For the past 22 years on air, Judge Judy has rocked the same iconic look: brown hair with caramel highlights styled into a short bob. Rachel Lubitz, refinery29.com, "Judge Judy Has A New Hair Look & Fans Are Freaking Out," 20 June 2019 The place to be: The patio at Margaritaville or the Paradise Beach Grille, which both boast views of the lagoon, the pier and beach, and the iconic, pastel-colored 1920s Venetian Court hotel. Allen Pierleoni, The Mercury News, "A weekend of beachy fun in Capitola-by-the-Sea," 16 June 2019 The four-time Oscar nominee will succeed Jeff Daniels in the iconic role, returning to Broadway after an absence of more than 20 years and beginning performances Nov. 5. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "Ed Harris to Step in as Atticus Finch in Broadway's 'To Kill a Mockingbird'," 14 June 2019

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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More from Merriam-Webster on iconic

Nglish: Translation of iconic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of iconic for Arabic Speakers

Comments on iconic

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