iconoclast

play
noun icon·o·clast \ī-ˈkä-nə-ˌklast\

Definition of iconoclast

  1. 1 :  a person who destroys religious images or opposes their veneration

  2. 2 :  a person who attacks settled beliefs or institutions

iconoclastic

play \(ˌ)ī-ˌkä-nə-ˈkla-stik\ adjective

iconoclastically

play \(ˌ)ī-ˌkä-nə-ˈkla-sti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

iconoclast was our Word of the Day on 07/10/2016. Hear the podcast!

Examples of iconoclast in a Sentence

  1. notorious as an iconoclast, that music critic isn't afraid to go after sacred cows

Recent Examples of iconoclast from the Web

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

For the Meaning of iconoclast, Break it Down

Iconoclast is a word that often shows up on vocabulary lists and College Board tests. How will you remember the meaning of this vocabulary-boosting term? If you already know the word icon, you're halfway there. An icon is a picture that represents something. The most common icons today are those little images on our computers and smartphones that represent a program or function, but in the still-recent past, the most common icons were religious images. Icon comes from the Greek eikōn, which is from eikenai, meaning "to resemble." Iconoclast comes to us by way of Medieval Latin from Middle Greek eikonoklastēs, which joins eikōn with a form of the word klan, meaning "to break." Iconoclast literally means "image destroyer."

Origin and Etymology of iconoclast

Medieval Latin iconoclastes, from Middle Greek eikonoklastēs, literally, image destroyer, from Greek eikono- + klan to break — more at clast

Other Religion (Eastern and Other) Terms


ICONOCLAST Defined for English Language Learners

iconoclast

play
noun

Definition of iconoclast for English Language Learners

  • : a person who criticizes or opposes beliefs and practices that are widely accepted



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