idea

noun
\ ī-ˈdē-ə How to pronounce idea (audio) , -ˈdēə also ˈī-(ˌ)dē-ə or ˈī-dē \

Definition of idea

1 : a formulated thought or opinion
2 : whatever is known or supposed about something a child's idea of time
3 : the central meaning or chief end of a particular action or situation
4a : a plan for action : design
b : a standard of perfection : ideal
c : a transcendent entity that is a real pattern of which existing things are imperfect representations
5a : an entity (such as a thought, concept, sensation, or image) actually or potentially present to consciousness
b : an indefinite or unformed conception
c obsolete : an image recalled by memory
6 Christian Science : an image in Mind
7 archaic : a visible representation of a conception : a replica of a pattern

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Other Words from idea

idealess \ ī-​ˈdē-​ə-​ləs How to pronounce idealess (audio) , -​ˈdēə-​ also  ˈī-​(ˌ)dē-​ə-​ or  ˈī-​dē-​ \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for idea

idea, concept, conception, thought, notion, impression mean what exists in the mind as a representation (as of something comprehended) or as a formulation (as of a plan). idea may apply to a mental image or formulation of something seen or known or imagined, to a pure abstraction, or to something assumed or vaguely sensed. innovative ideas my idea of paradise concept may apply to the idea formed by consideration of instances of a species or genus or, more broadly, to any idea of what a thing ought to be. a society with no concept of private property conception is often interchangeable with concept; it may stress the process of imagining or formulating rather than the result. our changing conception of what constitutes art thought is likely to suggest the result of reflecting, reasoning, or meditating rather than of imagining. commit your thoughts to paper notion suggests an idea not much resolved by analysis or reflection and may suggest the capricious or accidental. you have the oddest notions impression applies to an idea or notion resulting immediately from some stimulation of the senses. the first impression is of soaring height

Examples of idea in a Sentence

My idea is to study law. Starting her own business seemed like a good idea at the time, but it turned out badly. Whose idea was it to leave so early? My idea was that if we left early we could beat the crowd. Buying the car was a bad idea. I have some ideas for redecorating the room. He has an idea for a movie. I'm not sure what to do next. Do you have any ideas? She's always full of new ideas. It's a good idea to talk to people who have actually been there.
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Recent Examples on the Web But some of the most traditional sushi chefs balk at the idea of takeout, such as Masa Sasaki, chef-owner of Sasaki in the Mission District, who hasn’t opened his 12-seat omakase restaurant at all during the pandemic. Janelle Bitker, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Area’s intimate sushi restaurants are betting on plexiglass for future omakases," 7 Aug. 2020 In early May, the E.C.B. proposed an idea: biosecure cricket. Ed Caesar, The New Yorker, "The Season of Cricket Returns to the U.K.," 7 Aug. 2020 Velma in Ohio: This is a great idea, and, actually, a considerate one. Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: A simple recipe for a fancy coffee," 5 Aug. 2020 Also, in current times, individual plates are a great idea as opposed to a large board that is shared. Dana Mcmahan, The Courier-Journal, "How to make the perfect DIY charcuterie board with tips from Louisville cheesemongers," 4 Aug. 2020 One idea that seemingly holds a lot of promise: magnetic anomaly navigation techniques, or MAGNAV. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Air Force May Ditch GPS for Earth's Magnetic Field," 4 Aug. 2020 Just so people don't get the wrong idea, Cavallari's good friend, hair colorist Justin Anderson, shut down romance rumors in her comments section. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Kristin Cavallari and Stephen Colletti Just Had a Super Cozy Reunion," 4 Aug. 2020 The idea that the key to success in life, love and work is to constantly cultivate and tenaciously maintain an optimistic outlook. Vicky Spratt, refinery29.com, "Has Coronavirus Finally Put A Stop To Toxic Spirituality?," 31 July 2020 The idea that my parents could turn on the TV and see their son ... Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Al Roker Never Could Have Forecasted Where He'd Be Today," 31 July 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4c

History and Etymology for idea

Middle English, from Latin, from Greek, from idein to see — more at wit

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Time Traveler for idea

Time Traveler

The first known use of idea was in the 14th century

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Statistics for idea

Last Updated

10 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Idea.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/idea. Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for idea

idea

noun
How to pronounce idea (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of idea

: a thought, plan, or suggestion about what to do
: an opinion or belief
: something that you imagine or picture in your mind

idea

noun
\ ī-ˈdē-ə How to pronounce idea (audio) \

Kids Definition of idea

1 : a thought or plan about what to do Surprising her was a bad idea.
2 : something imagined or pictured in the mind I had an idea of what the town was like.
3 : an understanding of something I have no idea what you mean.
4 : a central meaning or purpose The idea of the game is to keep from getting caught.
5 : an opinion or belief What gave you that idea?

idea

noun
\ ī-ˈdē-ə How to pronounce idea (audio) , ˈīd-(ˌ)ē-ə How to pronounce idea (audio) \

Medical Definition of idea

1 : an entity (as a thought, concept, sensation, or image) actually or potentially present to consciousness
2 : a formulated thought or opinion

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More from Merriam-Webster on idea

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for idea

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with idea

Spanish Central: Translation of idea

Nglish: Translation of idea for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of idea for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about idea

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