icon·​o·​clasm | \ ī-ˈkä-nə-ˌkla-zəm How to pronounce iconoclasm (audio) \

Definition of iconoclasm

: the doctrine, practice, or attitude of an iconoclast

Examples of iconoclasm in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Our era’s most fervent passions, after all, seek not elevation but leveling; they are attracted not to idealization but to iconoclasm. Edward Rothstein, WSJ, "‘MONUMENTality’ Review: How the Mighty Have Fallen," 26 Dec. 2018 What would have happened to Iofan’s Palace of the Soviets with its colossal figure of Lenin (halted at the onset of the German invasion) after the fall of Communism and the iconoclasm that accompanied it? Darran Anderson, The Atlantic, "The Cities That Never Existed," 17 June 2018 Anyone who wants this campaign to retain a trace of Kempian iconoclasm — and be more than a dreary prelude to Newsom’s coronation — should vote Villaraigosa. Josh Gohlke, San Francisco Chronicle, "Last Word: Endorsed by Trump and Gavin Newsom," 1 June 2018 This amalgam of luxury, iconoclasm, and piety further unfolds at the Cloisters, where couture masterpieces often incorporate religious painting. Rhonda Garelick, The Cut, "The Met’s ‘Heavenly Bodies’ Show Is Worth the Pilgrimage," 10 May 2018 Modern iconoclasm tends to the abolition of the fanciful and the merely aesthetical. John Kelly, Washington Post, "May Day used to be a big deal in Washington. Could it ever be again?," 30 Apr. 2018 But the ambitions of the First Look Media empire have also been hobbled by Greenwald’s team-last iconoclasm. Simon Van Zuylen-wood, Daily Intelligencer, "Does This Man Know More Than Robert Mueller?," 21 Jan. 2018 He was closeted in high school and cultivated a rebel iconoclasm to cope. Simon Van Zuylen-wood, Daily Intelligencer, "Does This Man Know More Than Robert Mueller?," 21 Jan. 2018 The history of iconoclasm suggests that the result is more often bloodshed than reform. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, "Flag Protests and the Power of Symbols," 11 Oct. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of iconoclasm

1797, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about iconoclasm

Dictionary Entries near iconoclasm








Statistics for iconoclasm

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for iconoclasm

The first known use of iconoclasm was in 1797

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on iconoclasm

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with iconoclasm

Spanish Central: Translation of iconoclasm

Nglish: Translation of iconoclasm for Spanish Speakers

Comments on iconoclasm

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


showing courage and determination

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!