\ ˈī-dᵊl How to pronounce idol (audio) \

Definition of idol

1 : an object of extreme devotion a movie idol also : ideal sense 2
2 : a representation or symbol of an object of worship broadly : a false god
3a : a likeness of something
b obsolete : pretender, impostor
4 : a false conception : fallacy
5 : a form or appearance visible but without substance an enchanted phantom, a lifeless idol— P. B. Shelley

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Synonyms for idol


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Examples of idol in a Sentence

an actor who is the idol of millions a movie idol whose reprehensible offscreen behavior caused him to experience a spectacular fall from grace
Recent Examples on the Web However, when Jenna ever so slightly lifted her foot off the pole while holding on to the idol in the final immunity challenge, her million-dollar dreams of Survivor immortality were snuffed, just like her torch. Dalton Ross,, "Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire: Jenna Lewis spills All-Stars secrets," 8 July 2020 My idol, Carl Reiner, wrote about the human comedy. Christian Holub,, "Rob Reiner, Alan Alda, more pay tribute to comedy legend Carl Reiner: 'He is irreplaceable'," 30 June 2020 But fans just care about their favourite idol’s reputation. Elizabeth De Luna,, "The Joy & Rage of Being Black In Fandom Right Now," 26 June 2020 The characters in King Of Staten Island are all based on people who have been essential to his personal growth like his mother and his longtime comedy idol Bill Burr. Shannon Carlin,, "The King Of Staten Island Cast Is A Blast From Pete Davidson’s Past," 15 June 2020 Shandling would quickly go from Apatow's boss and idol to friend. Derek Lawrence,, "Meet Your Maker: King of Staten Island director Judd Apatow on his biggest influences," 11 June 2020 Growing into something of an idol took some getting used to. Nick Moyle,, "Andrew Jones’ cancer battle continues to inspire," 7 June 2020 Who would have thought that when Manziel was faced with an autograph scandal in the summer of 2013, the lightning rod of a college idol was simply ahead of his time? Brent Zwerneman,, "NCAA to allow athletes to cash in," 29 Apr. 2020 In the process of un-becoming Jihyo, the idol is peeling off her custom crystallized Unistella stick-on nails one by one and stacking them like tiny pancakes. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Jihyo of TWICE’s Career Has Been 15 Years in the Making," 14 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'idol.' 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 idol

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for idol

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

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Time Traveler for idol

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

27 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Idol.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for idol


How to pronounce idol (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of idol

: a greatly loved or admired person
: a picture or object that is worshipped as a god


\ ˈī-dᵊl How to pronounce idol (audio) \

Kids Definition of idol

1 : an image worshipped as a god
2 : a much loved or admired person or thing a movie idol

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More from Merriam-Webster on idol

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for idol

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with idol

Spanish Central: Translation of idol

Nglish: Translation of idol for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of idol for Arabic Speakers

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