idol

play
noun \ ˈī-dᵊl \

Definition of idol

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

Examples of idol in a Sentence

  1. an actor who is the idol of millions

  2. a movie idol whose reprehensible offscreen behavior caused him to experience a spectacular fall from grace

Recent Examples of idol from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of idol

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

idol Synonyms

Synonyms
god, hero, icon (also ikon)
Related Words
beau ideal, classic, exemplar, ideal, model, nonpareil, paragon

Other Religion (Eastern and Other) Terms



IDOL Defined for English Language Learners

idol

play
noun

Definition of idol for English Language Learners

  • : a greatly loved or admired person

  • : a picture or object that is worshipped as a god


IDOL Defined for Kids

idol

play
noun \ ˈī-dᵊl \

Definition of idol for Students

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


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up idol? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

smooth or hairless

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized-drawing-of-woman-pole-vaulting-across-gap-to-get-trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!