idol

noun
\ ˈī-dᵊl \

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

Synonyms

god, hero, icon (also ikon)

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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

Teenage idol worship is nothing new in the world of music. Morgan Jerkins, Teen Vogue, "R. Kelly and Other Powerful Men Have Always Manipulated Their Teen Fans," 9 Jan. 2019 And Hani and Gahyeon are just the idols who have directly referred to the trend. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Why Koreans Are Ditching Their Famous 10-Step Routines for the Skin-Care Diet," 29 Sep. 2018 The latter seems designed specifically for co-op play, requiring someone to run in the path of a trap, then grab and immediately throw the idol before it's squished by a massive, level-smashing barricade. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "The 16 surprising new games that made PAX West an absolute blast," 9 Sep. 2018 An interpretive lens of power weaponizes sacred scripture and turns our partisan allegiances into false idols. Jonathan L. Walton, Time, "Why Authoritarians Love to Quote This Bible Passage," 22 June 2018 Jerry Seinfeld: Jerry Lewis, who was an idol of mine from childhood. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, "Jerry Seinfeld on new season of 'Comedians in Cars,' whether he'd invite Trump on his show," 3 July 2018 Like her idol and inspiration Mariah Carey, Ariana Grande knows the value of a good Christmas original, a feat hard to pull off since the holiday music canon is so untouchable. Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande's Christmas Songs, Ranked," 12 Dec. 2018 That extends to beauty idol too: The South African native, 43, has been the face of Dior J’adore perfume for 13 years and counting. Lindsay Schallon, Glamour, "Charlize Theron on the Power of Being a Woman," 28 Nov. 2018 Before then, the Druids worshipped oak trees as their idol. Nicol Natale, Woman's Day, "Why Do We Have Christmas Trees?," 15 Nov. 2018

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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Learn More about idol

Dictionary Entries near idol

idly

Ido

idocrase

idol

idolater

idolatress

idolatric

Statistics for idol

Last Updated

12 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for idol

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

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More Definitions for idol

idol

noun

English Language Learners Definition of idol

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

idol

noun
\ ˈī-dᵊl \

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with idol

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for idol

Spanish Central: Translation of idol

Nglish: Translation of idol for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of idol for Arabic Speakers

Comments on idol

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excited commotion or publicity

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