iconoclast

noun
icon·​o·​clast | \ ī-ˈkä-nə-ˌklast How to pronounce iconoclast (audio) \

Definition of iconoclast

1 : a person who attacks settled beliefs or institutions
2 : a person who destroys religious images or opposes their veneration

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Other Words from iconoclast

iconoclastic \ (ˌ)ī-​ˌkä-​nə-​ˈkla-​stik How to pronounce iconoclastic (audio) \ adjective
iconoclastically \ (ˌ)ī-​ˌkä-​nə-​ˈkla-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce iconoclastically (audio) \ adverb

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."

Examples of iconoclast in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

Maniscalco might be an under-the-radar performer to many among the teen and young adult demographic that worships at the altar of such iconoclasts as Hasan Minhaj, Hannah Gadsby and John Mulaney. chicagotribune.com, "For Sebastian Maniscalo, comedy is a curated experience for his fans," 19 July 2019 Rudofsky, who died in 1988, was an architect by training, a polymath by appetite, and an iconoclast by temperament. Troy Patterson, The New Yorker, "The Essay to Read If You Even Think About Wearing Clothes," 11 July 2019 That’s the question Alejandro de la Garza takes on in a smart, thoughtful piece on how historians reckon with iconoclast Wernher von Braun today. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, "How Neil and Buzz Almost Were Stranded on the Moon in 1969," 21 July 2019 French revolutionaries, like our modern iconoclasts who topple statues of Confederate soldiers in the night, often went wild destroying monuments, portraits, and names affiliated with the Ancien Régime and the Catholic Church. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "The Cowardly Incoherence of Name-Changing, Statue-Toppling, and other Iconoclasms," 25 June 2019 Great Southern, Australia, $23 This delicious riot of a wine — designed to appeal to iconoclasts of all ages — is a blend of riesling and pinot grigio, with a dash of viognier tossed in for good measure (and, well, aromas and body). Dave Mcintyre, Washington Post, "Floral and lush, this $12 South African white wine blend blossoms in your glass," 14 June 2019 Fellow iconoclast Brandi Carlile and her bandmates, Tim and Phil Hanseroth, were the most effusive, leaping to their feet and pumping their arms at the pronouncement. Nancy Kruh, PEOPLE.com, "From Impromptu Dancing to Sweet Cuddles: Here's What You Didn't See on TV at the 2019 CMT Awards," 6 June 2019 In the end, Houellebecq comes across not as a brave iconoclast, nor as a serious conservative thinker, but as a cranky old white man yelling at those kids across the Atlantic to get off his lawn. Marilynne Robinson, Harper's magazine, "Letters," 10 Mar. 2019 The possibilities of the story form were stretched and manipulated in healthy ways by the Australian iconoclast Gerald Murnane. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: A Year in the Life of a Short Story," 28 Dec. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of iconoclast

1641, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for iconoclast

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

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Dictionary Entries near iconoclast

iconic

iconicity

iconoclasm

iconoclast

iconodule

iconodulist

iconoduly

Statistics for iconoclast

Last Updated

10 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for iconoclast

The first known use of iconoclast was in 1641

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More Definitions for iconoclast

iconoclast

noun

English Language Learners Definition of iconoclast

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on iconoclast

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with iconoclast

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for iconoclast

Spanish Central: Translation of iconoclast

Nglish: Translation of iconoclast for Spanish Speakers

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