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

Examples of idolatry in a Sentence

her idolatry of her favorite rock star is one step removed from stalking
Recent Examples on the Web However, such idolatry might be inappropriate for a man who, as his son tells it, was less invested in his own celebrity than in organizing races, and participating in them into his mid 80s. Martin Fritz Huber, Outside Online, 6 Mar. 2021 There’s nothing in this hellzapoppin lampoon to prevent one from remembering its Hollywood idolatry as The Unbearable Weight of Nicolas Cage. Armond White, National Review, 22 Apr. 2022 Ultimately this phenomenon is a kind of idolatry, an attempt to be as God is. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 25 Mar. 2022 TikTok accounts — create an illusory sense of intimacy that fans would not necessarily experience with the objects of their idolatry a century, or even a decade, ago. New York Times, 14 Mar. 2022 There is plenty of important work to be done in diagnosing and correcting what ails portions of the Evangelical right — extreme polarization, political idolatry, susceptibility to demagoguery, etc. Brian G. Mattson, National Review, 20 Feb. 2022 This is idolatry, this willingness to blame God for the morally wrong choices of humans. The Salt Lake Tribune, 16 Feb. 2022 There is a temptation when discussing culturally significant and exalted figures like poet, playwright and activist Amiri Baraka to speak with an air of unfettered worship — to move past humanity and instead towards idolatry. Sarah-tai Black, Los Angeles Times, 4 Feb. 2022 Spencer itself is only a half-bad movie, promoting idolatry for a public that has lost respect for tradition and that has no sense of duty or sense of occasion. Armond White, National Review, 10 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Idolatry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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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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