: an object of extreme devotion
a movie idol
also : ideal sense 2
: a representation or symbol of an object of worship
broadly : a false god
: a likeness of something
obsolete : pretender, impostor
: a false conception : fallacy
: a form or appearance visible but without substance
an enchanted phantom, a lifeless idolP. B. Shelley

Examples of idol in a Sentence

an actor who is the idol of millions a movie star whose portrayal of a comic book superhero in a blockbuster series has made him the idol of millions
Recent Examples on the Web One might be tempted to interpret Novarro’s life backward from this ending, to see only the tragic idol four decades removed from the height of his stardom, struggling with alcoholism and unable to square his sexuality with his faith. Matt Brennan, Los Angeles Times, 6 June 2024 By the by, my least favorite thing about the entire finale is the fact that editors didn’t drill down on lots of hilarious footage of Charlie doing an even worse job of idol hunting than Venus after Venus had already found her idol. Dalton Ross, EW.com, 23 May 2024 In all 46 seasons since Survivor premiered in May 2000, only 27 players have been voted out with idols — with this season alone seeing Jem, Hunter, Tiffany, Venus and Q fall victim to this fate. Brian Anthony Hernandez, Peoplemag, 16 May 2024 The family had taken over a high school practice facility, inviting two of their idols, professional trick-shot artists and brothers David and Daniel Hulett, to join them in a day of multiple trick shots. Nancy Kruh, Peoplemag, 28 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for idol 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'idol.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Anglo-French idle, from Late Latin idolum, from Greek eidōlon image, idol; akin to Greek eidos form — more at idyll

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of idol was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near idol

Cite this Entry

“Idol.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/idol. Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


: an image worshipped as a god
: a greatly loved and admired person or thing

More from Merriam-Webster on idol

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