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 Most Americans know little about the monotheistic faith founded more than 500 years ago in India’s northern Punjab region that rejects the caste system and idolatry. Washington Post, "Sikh preaches love 18 years after brother killed over turban," 15 Sep. 2019 Such is the reality The Boys reveals behind the idolatry: greed and grift and outright homicide, all the while preaching exceptionalism and sanctimony to the outside world. Peter Rubin, WIRED, "Amazon's The Boys Tests the Limits of Superhero Fatigue," 26 July 2019 These are not poems of regional idolatry; these are poems which grapple with the world and man’s place within it. Tyler Malone,, "The road taken by Robert Frost through New England," 29 June 2018 Lutherans like Bach certainly would have condemned as a grievous sin of idolatry any notion that the essence of a piece of music is, or turns into, the essence of God. Michael Marissen, New York Times, "Bach Was Far More Religious Than You Might Think," 30 Mar. 2018 American women glamorize French women to the point of idolatry. Maura Walters, Marie Claire, "4 French Women on How They Really Feel About Aging," 20 Mar. 2018 She was constantly confronted by the figure of her sister Diana, a political extremist who possessed an otherworldly power of commanding idolatry. Laura Thompson, New York Times, "In a New Biography of the Bouvier Women, Jealousies Rule," 20 Feb. 2018 The plaudits traveled past genuflecting and exited somewhere a couple of miles before idolatry. Richard Deitsch,, "Media Circus: How Critical Will ESPN Be of Jon Gruden’s Coaching Tenure With the Raiders?," 7 Jan. 2018 The idolatry of experimentation has even spawned a sinister, for-profit industry, lurking in the shadows of the FDA approval process. Daniel Engber, Slate Magazine, "Charlie Gard’s saga exposed a flaw in our perception of medicine: We are too quick to think new treatments will work.," 25 July 2017

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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Cite this Entry

“Idolatry.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 14 December 2019.

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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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