iconoclast

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

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 \ adjective
iconoclastically \(ˌ)ī-ˌkä-nə-ˈkla-sti-k(ə-)lē \ 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

With apologies to the Geto Boys and their gangster anthem, the Outlaw Music Festival made a smashing Indiana debut led by national treasure Willie Nelson and rising iconoclast Sturgill Simpson. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "5 reasons Willie Nelson, Sturgill Simpson and friends made Outlaw festival the place to be," 24 June 2018 Both founders contradict the stereotype of crypto-enthusiasts as wild, lawless iconoclasts. The Economist, "A disciplined startup emerges from the Wild West of crypto-currency," 28 June 2018 The 72-year-old iconoclast hadn’t seen the show in production before Saturday night. Chris Jones, chicagotribune.com, "Cher sneaks into Chicago. And what does she think of 'The Cher Show'?," 25 June 2018 Bikepacking, which partly traces its roots to Mike Curiak’s 2003 individual time trial on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, has long been the realm of iconoclasts and hermits trying to escape alone into the woods. Aaron Gulley, Outside Online, "Bikepacking.com Is Revolutionizing the Sport," 20 June 2018 Loverboy’s Charles Jeffrey is a dyed-in-the-wool iconoclast. Vogue, "The Hoop Skirt Comes Full Circle at Loverboy," 11 June 2018 There is less anxiety in Washington about Braun, who is a relative outsider but not an iconoclast. Mike Debonis And Michael Scherer, chicagotribune.com, "In Indiana and West Virginia, Republican candidates run against a capital run by Republicans," 6 May 2018 The young French iconoclast and the mature Russian composer were aware of each other’s music, although Tchaikovsky apparently found Debussy’s pathbreaking Impressionism too advanced for his tastes. John Von Rhein, chicagotribune.com, "Review: Muti, CSO draw convincing contrasts in music of Debussy and Tchaikovsky," 20 Apr. 2018 However, Uchis has been edging towards this moment for years, with a mixtape and EP under her belt, and a string of singles and guest features that positioned her as an R&B iconoclast. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 10 Artists We're Most Looking Forward to Seeing at Coachella This Weekend," 11 Apr. 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

5 Oct 2018

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

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

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evasion of direct action or statement

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