icon

noun
\ ˈī-ˌkän How to pronounce icon (audio) \
variants: or less commonly
plural icons also ikons

Definition of icon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person or thing widely admired especially for having great influence or significance in a particular sphere a civil rights icon an actor and fashion icon … Purple Rain, the flick that established Prince as a pop icon and cineaste.— Robert Christgau and Carola Dibbell That cultural icon, the Nintendo Game Boy, was released in 1989 …— Eleanor Flegg
2 : emblem, symbol Rosie the Riveter, a WWII [World War II] cultural icon with her blue jumpsuit and red bandana, represented the women who went to work at manufacturing hubs across the nation …— David DeBolt A single photograph, the photograph of Earth taken from space by William Anders, on Apollo 8, in 1968, served as an icon for the entire environmental movement.— Jill Lepore The nation's first President was transformed into an icon, a national symbol whose somewhat forbidding portrait would adorn the dollar bill.— John J. O'Connor
3a : a graphic symbol on a computer display screen that represents an app, an object (such as a file), or a function (such as the command to save)
b : a sign (such as a word or graphic symbol) whose form suggests its meaning
c archaic : a usually pictorial representation : image
4 [Late Greek eikōn, from Greek] in Eastern Orthodox Christianity : a representation (as in a mural, a mosaic, or a painting on wood) of sacred events or especially of a sacred individual (such as Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, or a saint) used as an object of veneration or a tool for instruction
variants: or icono-

Definition of icon- (Entry 2 of 2)

: image iconolatry

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Synonyms for icon

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of icon in a Sentence

Noun Click on the icon to open your e-mail program. He has become an icon in the movie business. a singer who has become a pop icon The Statue of Liberty has become an American cultural icon.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Grime icon Stormzy, rapper slowthai, R&B singer Jorja Smith and more have been nominated at the sixth annual GRM Daily Rated Awards in the U.K. Mia Nazareno, Billboard, 20 July 2021 Reed’s ultimate icon of Black culture bewitching the West. Julian Lucas, The New Yorker, 19 July 2021 One year after the death of Rep. John Lewis, the longtime representative of Georgia's 5th Congressional District and civil rights icon, his dedication to ensuring equal access to the ballot is as relevant as ever. Kate Pastor, ABC News, 17 July 2021 Gabriel also has already been introduced to a striking black-and-white painting of R&B icon Mavis Staples, which the Brothers Osborne's John Osborne painted and gave to Worsham. Nancy Kruh, PEOPLE.com, 16 July 2021 In the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, Tanglewood is back with a full summer season of performances by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and concerts by Brandi Carlile, soul-gospel icon Mavis Staples and folk singer Judy Collins. NBC News, 16 July 2021 On an iPhone, get there by opening any Google app, like Gmail, and tapping on your profile photo or icon in the upper right corner. Washington Post, 15 July 2021 Two men have been found dead inside the former Versace mansion in Miami, just one day before the 24-year anniversary of fashion icon Gianni Versace's death outside the same building. Joey Nolfi, EW.com, 15 July 2021 But that half-hour forever sealed Ross' reputation as a pop diva and style icon. CNN, 15 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'icon.' 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 icon

Noun

1572, in the meaning defined at sense 3c

History and Etymology for icon

Noun

Latin, from Greek eikōn, from eikenai to resemble

Combining form

Greek eikon-, eikono-, from eikon-, eikōn

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Last Updated

23 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Icon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/icon. Accessed 29 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for icon

icon

noun

English Language Learners Definition of icon

computers : a small picture on a computer screen that represents a program or function
: a person who is very successful and admired
: a widely known symbol

icon

noun
\ ˈī-ˌkän \

Kids Definition of icon

1 : a widely known symbol The Statue of Liberty has become an icon of freedom.
2 : a person who is very successful or admired a pop icon
3 : a religious image usually painted on a small wooden panel
4 : a small picture or symbol on a computer screen that represents a function that the computer can perform

More from Merriam-Webster on icon

Nglish: Translation of icon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of icon for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about icon

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