idol

noun \ ˈī-dᵊl \
Updated on: 21 May 2018

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);

Other Religion (Eastern and Other) Terms



IDOL Defined for English Language Learners

idol

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

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


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