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 Cutely titled after Herman Mankiewicz, co-writer of Citizen Kane’s screenplay, Mank does the Millennial thing: unwarranted idolatry. Armond White, National Review, "The Facile Fascism of David Fincher," 11 Dec. 2020 Puritan disgust with pagan idolatry was still alive in the 1770s. Jesse Leavenworth,, "‘Untestable’ myth or beloved local legend: historian prods Connecticut’s first Christmas tree claim," 24 Dec. 2020 Taking over the Kärntnertor’s lease, Barbaja asked Duport to help run it, and when Rossini and his new bride, the diva Isabella Colbran, arrived in 1822, the city greeted them with enthusiasm bordering on idolatry. New York Times, "The Behind-the-Scenes Assist That Made Beethoven’s Ninth Happen," 8 Dec. 2020 In his work and in this film, Souza conflates idolatry with history. Armond White, National Review, "Bowing Down to Obama," 27 Nov. 2020 Islam’s early stance against idolatry led to a general disapproval for images of living beings throughout Islamic history. Suleyman Dost, The Conversation, "Muslims have visualized Prophet Muhammad in words and calligraphic art for centuries," 24 Nov. 2020 Religious conservatism had its counterpart in political conservatism, expressed in almost an idolatry of the federal Constitution as interpreted by the Virginia and Kentucky resolutions of 1798. Bruce Bartlett, The New Republic, "The Christian Devotion to a White America," 10 Aug. 2020 Through their voices, Vollmann gives a documentary accounting of life on the margins, riffing on such themes as bigotry, idolatry, gender fluidity, vulnerability, consent, resilience and love. Jen Mcdonald, New York Times, "A Lesbian Who’s Not a Lesbian Walks Into a Bar, and ...," 18 Feb. 2020 As with any novel featuring a distant object of idolatry, this one succeeds only to the extent that Margo is worth getting to know. Kaitlin Phillips, New York Times, "What if Gatsby Worked at a Tech Start-Up?," 10 Mar. 2020

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for idolatry

Last Updated

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Idolatry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for idolatry


How to pronounce idolatry (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of idolatry

: the worship of a picture or object as a god

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Comments on idolatry

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