icon·​ic ī-ˈkä-nik How to pronounce iconic (audio)
: of, relating to, or having the characteristics of an icon
: widely recognized and well-established
an iconic brand name
: widely known and acknowledged especially for distinctive excellence
an iconic writer
a region's iconic wines
iconically adverb

Did you know?

The original meaning of iconic was essentially "resembling an icon," but today it often describes what is so admired that it could be the subject of an icon. And with that use, iconic has become part of the language of advertising and publicity: companies and magazines and TV hosts encourage us to think of some consumer item or pop star or show as first-rate or immortal or flawless—absolutely "iconic"—when that person or thing is actually simply widely known and—they assert—distinctively excellent.

Examples of iconic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Yes, the Modern Family star really is as funny—and straightforward—as her iconic character Gloria Delgado-Pritchett. Danielle Sinay, Glamour, 21 Nov. 2023 The roast is their rebuttal to Norman Rockwell’s iconic Thanksgiving turkey, with its own cachet and fame. Lee Powell, Washington Post, 21 Nov. 2023 John and Cynthia Lennon acquired their large rustic house in Kenwood, England, for just £20,000 in July 1964, the same summer the Beatles dropped their iconic third studio album, A Hard Day’s Night. Julia Binswanger, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Nov. 2023 After the performance, a spellbinding light show transformed the iconic New York City building into a canvas of vivid colors. Maia Torres, Vogue, 21 Nov. 2023 Burberry's wool scarves are iconic, and this cape is a stylish — and warmer — take on them. Dobrina Zhekova, Travel + Leisure, 20 Nov. 2023 When Taylor Swift finally took the Eras Tour to Rio de Janeiro on Friday, fans — and even the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue — welcomed her with open arms. Kaetlyn Liddy, NBC News, 20 Nov. 2023 Though Keys’ iconic music is used throughout, Diaz and Blackstone don’t haphazardly sprinkle the tunes across two acts. Aramide Tinubu, Variety, 20 Nov. 2023 Not surprisingly, taking on Rabanne's most iconic signatures presented H&M’s creatives with one of their most complicated endeavors yet. Tina Isaac-Goizé, Vogue, 9 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'iconic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of iconic was in 1656

Dictionary Entries Near iconic

Cite this Entry

“Iconic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/iconic. Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on iconic

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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