idea

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

Other Words from idea

idealess \ ī-​ˈdē-​ə-​ləs How to pronounce idea (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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web That's when Rhodes also began to formulate his idea of starting the Oath Keepers. CBS News, 26 Sep. 2022 That's when Rhodes also began to formulate his idea of starting the Oath Keepers. Jacques Billeaud, The Arizona Republic, 26 Sep. 2022 That’s when Rhodes also began to formulate his idea of starting the Oath Keepers. Jacques Billeaud And Lindsay Whitehurst, Anchorage Daily News, 26 Sep. 2022 If a relaxing night in is your idea of the perfect Valentine's Day celebration, consider a virtual movie night. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, 25 Sep. 2022 Sign up to receive the Vintage Chicago Tribune newsletter at chicagotribune.com/newsletters for more photos and stories from the Tribune’s archives. Have an idea for Vintage Chicago Tribune? Ron Grossman, Chicago Tribune, 25 Sep. 2022 The book has colored my idea of California ever since. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, 21 Sep. 2022 Kemmons Wilson understood that marketing was key to getting his idea off the ground, so Holiday Inn's family-focused, road trip origin story was omnipresent in the brand's PR from day one. Francesca Street, CNN, 21 Sep. 2022 His idea to stay grounded was to compete individually among a team setting. Doug Ferguson, San Francisco Chronicle, 21 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near idea

-ide

idea

ideaed

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Statistics for idea

Last Updated

28 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Idea.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/idea. Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for idea

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

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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