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

But the idea of fetal pain, which seems to be the focus of that statement, is one that continues to come up. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "What President Trump Got Wrong About Abortion in His State of the Union Address," 6 Feb. 2019 The idea was that the shortages would be made up by AMD—but AMD CEO Lisa Su didn’t seem particularly interested in low-end products, either, now that AMD has the rich taste of profits in its mouth. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's Surface sales soar to nearly $2 billion, though chip shortages are hurting," 31 Jan. 2019 To Belichick, the idea of shelling out expensive and sometimes risky contracts to players is as foreign as punting on first down. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The Super Bowl of Opposites," 25 Jan. 2019 The whole idea is to enter a metabolic state known as ketosis, when your body burns fat for fuel. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "Keto Diet Pills and Supplements May Hurt Your Health and Waste Your Money," 16 Jan. 2019 The idea behind the additional step is that the porous material will soak up much of the liquid base, allowing the glitter to go on in a thick, opaque coat. Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "How To Apply Glitter Nail Polish the Right Way," 10 Jan. 2019 The idea of gambling in the state has been controversial for decades; in fact, anti-casino activists were able to gather enough signatures to get a question back on the November 2014 ballot that would have outlawed casinos once more. Andrea Bennett, Condé Nast Traveler, "Will New Casinos Bring a "MassVegas" to New England?," 17 Dec. 2018 Stagner’s among them—have generally supported the idea that there is an advantage to leaving the flagstick in, particularly on mid-range and longer putts. Brian Costa, WSJ, "Golf’s New Conundrum: Flagstick In or Out?," 24 Jan. 2019 In 1986 the friends had the idea to open a shop, Laimoun. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "This Is the Paris Shop Where Haider Ackermann Buys Slippers," 23 Jan. 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

10 Feb 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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