idol·​a·​try | \ ī-ˈdä-lə-trē How to pronounce idolatry (audio) \
plural idolatries

Definition of idolatry

1 : the worship of a physical object as a god
2 : immoderate attachment or devotion to something

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Examples of idolatry in a Sentence

her idolatry of her favorite rock star is one step removed from stalking
Recent Examples on the Web Reflecting on these unforgiving fashion trends makes one wonder about the idolatry of youth in fashion. Jess Sims, Harper's BAZAAR, 21 July 2021 After all, her idolatry of Beyoncé on season 6 was ultimately a large part of her story arc. Paul Mccallion, Vulture, 8 July 2021 The first and second game lambasted consumer culture, while the third game depicted the dangers of pop idolatry. Washington Post, 12 May 2021 This is, to conservative critics, tantamount to idolatry. Audrey Farley, The New Republic, 21 Dec. 2020 As Petrie is obliged to work ever harder to suppress his skeptical thoughts regarding Elefantin, his testament begins to shade into idolatry. Giles Harvey, The New Yorker, 5 Apr. 2021 That kind of idolatry would weigh heavily on anyone’s shoulders, and Lovato—a veteran of child beauty pageants who was working in television by age 7—carries it responsibly. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, 23 Mar. 2021 Rejecting the idolatry of growth means tilting the organization of our societies toward other social goods—health, for instance, and the freedom to exist on a planet that is not on fire. Ben Ehrenreich, The New Republic, 18 Mar. 2021 Aaron did not enjoy the idolatry accorded the Yankees' Mickey Mantle or match the exuberance and electric presence of the Giants' Willie Mays, his outfield contemporaries and rivals for acclamation as the greatest ballplayer in major league history. Richard Goldstein, Star Tribune, 22 Jan. 2021

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for idolatry

Middle English ydolatrie, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin idolatria, alteration of Late Latin idololatria, from Greek eidōlolatreia, from eidōlon idol + -latreia -latry

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Time Traveler for idolatry

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

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Last Updated

31 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Idolatry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for idolatry



English Language Learners Definition of idolatry

: the worship of a picture or object as a god

More from Merriam-Webster on idolatry

Nglish: Translation of idolatry for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of idolatry for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about idolatry


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