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

The president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has unorthodox ideas about how to develop Mexico. The Economist, "Mexico’s finance minister falls out with its populist president," 13 July 2019 The idea came from a conversation with a friend of the bar, David Kasprzak, of Colpa Press and the SF Art Book Fair. SFChronicle.com, "Trick Dog pays homage to iconic counterculture catalog with The Whole Dog Menu," 11 July 2019 Bitmain had a similar idea for its North American expansion. Mark Dent, WIRED, "The Hard-Luck Texas Town That Bet on Bitcoin—and Lost," 11 July 2019 Bernie Sanders’s most recent idea is to forgive all $1.6 trillion of student-loan debt currently on the federal government’s books. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 11 July 2019 The idea to transform to a lobster mania is based on Hussey and Herrold's travel to the East Coast. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Birmingham eatery transforming into lobster shack for the summer," 11 July 2019 While those ideas may one day gain traction, in the near term, emails to borrowers may prove to be simpler and less contentious. Matthew De Silva, Quartz, "The simplest way to improve your credit score is by using your email," 10 July 2019 Stephen Moore and Herman Cain, both of whom have withdrawn their nominations, also supported the idea. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "Fed chair Jay Powell calls return to gold standard a bad idea," 10 July 2019 Three different ideas of how to replace the 23-acre Internal Revenue Service tax return procession center will be shared Thursday evening in Covington. Chris Mayhew, Cincinnati.com, "Covington will share development ideas for 23-acre Downtown IRS site Thursday," 10 July 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

14 Jul 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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