idea

noun
\ ī-ˈdē-ə, -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 , -​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

This isn’t the first time these ideas have been explored. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "Razer HyperSense's vision for haptic-filled PC gaming shakes up the future of peripherals," 10 Jan. 2019 This might sound like overkill, but remember: Chlamydia can be an STD with no symptoms, meaning your partner could have it and have no idea. Amy Marturana, SELF, "5 STDs You Can Have Without Knowing It," 28 Dec. 2018 But Facebook was sloppy and careless with your data, and most users had no idea that these partnerships exist. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Another damning Facebook data-privacy report — and a new lawsuit — sink the social network’s shares," 20 Dec. 2018 Satellite images of the volcano taken over the past few days show a large segment of the volcano’s flank that is now missing, bolstering the idea that a huge landslide might have caused this tsunami. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "Deadly Indonesian tsunami was not caused by an earthquake," 23 Dec. 2018 But enough Senate Republicans rejected the idea after Trump proposed it. German Lopez, Vox, "Vox Sentences: A shutdown for Christmas," 22 Dec. 2018 The feedback here has helped me not to feel guilty about that and just realize that not everyone has the same ideas about tact and manners. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "This Bride Held an Adults-Only Wedding—and Asked a Guest With Kids to Leave," 22 Dec. 2018 Since posting shots of her creation this fall, the idea has caught the internet's attention. Ann Lien, House Beautiful, "Hanging Christmas Lights In Your Fireplace Is The Life Hack You Didn't Know You Needed," 17 Dec. 2018 That’s probably still a good idea, given how much of the pleasure of Forever is in its sense of surprise. Noel Murray, The Verge, "The 20 best TV series of 2018," 12 Dec. 2018

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

13 Jan 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 \

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, ˈīd-(ˌ)ē-ə \

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

Comments on idea

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