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 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 he or she or it is actually simply widely known and—they assert—distinctively excellent.

Examples of iconic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Memorial Day is one of the most iconic holidays for Americans. Claire Goodman, Houston Chronicle, "Honor Memorial Day with these local, social-distancing friendly events," 22 May 2020 The Stud, around since 1966, is one of the country's most iconic bars and has been at its current location since 1987. CBS News, "The Stud, San Francisco's oldest gay bar, is closing its doors due to the coronavirus pandemic," 21 May 2020 So begins perhaps the most iconic line among Thoreau’s many. Michael S. Hopkins, The Christian Science Monitor, "In the staycation era, the art of deliberate escape," 21 May 2020 And, in keeping with their image, TWICE’s most iconic songs are soaring, shimmering pop tracks that burrow deep into your ears. Natalie Morin, refinery29.com, "TWICE Just Want To Make You Happy," 21 May 2020 In 2013-14 Carter finished sixth in Sixth Man of the Year voting and hit one of the most iconic shots in Mavericks playoff history. Dallas News, "Six former Mavericks make ESPN’s top 74 NBA players of all time list," 14 May 2020 The parks are two of the most iconic and popular sites in the national-park system and will both start gradual reopenings on Monday, according to the Interior Department. Timothy Puko, WSJ, "Yellowstone, Grand Teton Parks to Begin Reopening Monday," 13 May 2020 No sporting place elicits such feeling as the fields that house our most iconic college football programs. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "College football may be a religion. But science should decide its future.," 10 May 2020 The newest challenges come on top of years of bankruptcies and store closures that have gutted some of the country’s most iconic retailers, including Toys R Us and Sears. Washington Post, "The iconic brands that could disappear because of coronavirus," 29 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for iconic

Time Traveler

The first known use of iconic was in 1656

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Statistics for iconic

Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Iconic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/iconic. Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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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