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

And there is something to that idea—that dragon blood is what gives Dany her ability to withstand insane temperatures and even live through fires. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Could Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen Marry on 'Game of Thrones'?," 15 Apr. 2019 Although the move was meant to be temporary, the idea was so successful in attracting tourists that locals voted to keep the distinctive coloring. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The 25 most colorful cities in the world," 19 Feb. 2019 If battling prejudice and homophobia through song seems like a fanciful idea, the documentary is well aware of its lofty goal, which simply comes down to a mission of helping everybody get along. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Gay Chorus Deep South," 1 May 2019 There's most certainly a way to critique outfit choices that doesn't employ tired, ageist ideas about what how a woman is supposed to dress. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "A Fashion Editor Said Supermodel Helena Christensen Was Too Old to Wear a Bustier—and People Aren’t Having It," 30 Apr. 2019 Great companies tend to have alluring stories to explain their origins: a charismatic founder, an innovative idea, or a product or technology that goes on to become part of the culture of America itself. Jon Gertner, WSJ, "‘IBM’ Review: Building Big Blue," 30 Apr. 2019 An Airbnb book shop is a nice idea, maybe better than having your own shop, and almost (not really almost) as good a building your own library. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "If You Stay In This Very Popular Airbnb, There’s One Catch—You’ll Have to Run The Attached Bookshop," 26 Apr. 2019 Study Hall Conferences have become such a key part of that exploration by becoming a hub of ideas, innovations, conversation and collaboration. Celine Semaan, Teen Vogue, "Why I Started a Sustainable Fashion Conference Series," 26 Apr. 2019 Making a joke about a woman's outfit is not an attack on her character, ideas, or her work. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Criticizing a Bad Red Carpet Outfit Is Not Sexist—or Personal," 25 Apr. 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near idea

IDDM

IDE

-ide

idea

ideaed

ideaistic

ideal

Statistics for idea

Last Updated

19 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for idea

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

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More Definitions for idea

idea

noun

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with idea

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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