ide·​al·​ist | \ ī-ˈdē-(ə-)list How to pronounce idealist (audio) , ˈī-(ˌ)dē- \

Definition of idealist

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one guided by ideals especially : one that places ideals before practical considerations
2a : an adherent of a philosophical theory of idealism
b : an artist or author who advocates or practices idealism in art or writing



Definition of idealist (Entry 2 of 2)

Examples of idealist in a Sentence

Noun an idealist sees the best in everyone, regardless of how they behave Adjective an idealist attempt to make a go of a mom-and-pop hardware store on Main Street
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Nothing about her manner would indicate an idealist practicing one of the most threatened and beleaguered professions in the country during a crucial moment in American history. Emily Witt, The New Yorker, 13 July 2022 This perhaps best encapsulates Seydoux on film, an idealist and a realist, with film itself being both a business and an art to her. Mia Galuppo, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 May 2022 Hilson plays Naomi Josef, a fresh-faced, smart and enthusiastic idealist who leads with her heart and radiates warmth. Selome Hailu, Variety, 12 May 2022 That the unravelling happens to the high idealist automatically sets up the misdirection. Willing Davidson, The New Yorker, 30 May 2022 Speaking to the crowd, Musk slipped into the comfortable role as the billionaire idealist who dreams of saving the planet by ending humanity’s dependence on fossil fuels. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 22 Mar. 2022 The fictional story of a young idealist entering the Senate was met with positive reviews from viewers and is even featured in the Senate's history. Yaa Bofah, Good Housekeeping, 6 May 2022 The move hardened their view of Gascón as an idealist with a limited grasp of how to run the office on a practical basis. James Queally, Los Angeles Times, 3 May 2022 In 1969 a young idealist, on her first trip to Hawaii, checked into the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, a sublime pink confection of a place in Waikiki Beach, on the island of Oahu. Horacio Silva, Town & Country, 31 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective No other festival or event has done more to nurture, develop and celebrate the idealist peculiarities and cultural eccentricities of modern festival culture quite like the merry men and women of Glastonbury. Dave Brooks, Billboard, 28 June 2022 The story follows Mickey Haller (Garcia-Rulfo), an iconoclastic idealist criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles who runs his practice out of the back seat of his Lincoln. Dana Feldman, Forbes, 26 May 2022 The appeal of far-left ideology, with its idealist cast, is, to the French, particularly to French youth, a cultural constant. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 25 Apr. 2022 But Nakagin truly fit the bill: a building that became a symbol of architecture’s most idealist tendencies and of Tokyo itself. Carolina A. Mirandacolumnist, Los Angeles Times, 16 Apr. 2022 The company that has a bit of an idealist quality to it. Karen Walker, Forbes, 4 Jan. 2022 The shift happened alongside the realization that the tech industry was no longer the niche realm of idealist computer geeks. New York Times, 18 Nov. 2021 Jane is an idealist, convinced that her love of the crowd and the quality of her music will attract fans., 24 June 2021 Consider both the idealist and realist cases for stepping into this global leadership role. Ben Sasse, WSJ, 17 May 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'idealist.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of idealist


1803, in the meaning defined at sense 2a


1856, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of idealist was in 1803

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Last Updated

4 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Idealist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on idealist

Nglish: Translation of idealist for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of idealist for Arabic Speakers


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