idol·​a·​try ī-ˈdä-lə-trē How to pronounce idolatry (audio)
plural idolatries
: the worship of a physical object as a god
: immoderate attachment or devotion to something

Examples of idolatry in a Sentence

fans of the team are well known for their idolatry of the quarterback
Recent Examples on the Web Another gag involves the highly unstable Adam’s idolatry for the IDF — a joke that was clearly conceived before the current Israel-Hamas War. Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 June 2024 That notion does not entirely disappear in The Guide, but Maimonides shifts to an emphasis on the commandments’ role in steering observant Jews away from idolatry, considered to be false ideas about God that represent the most corrupting force imaginable. Jay M. Harris, Foreign Affairs, 12 Feb. 2014 Although not artwork, the association of plants with holy figures was seen as a form of false worship or idolatry that the Reformation sought to reject. Bridget Retzloff, The Conversation, 20 May 2024 When the exodus is complete, and all that’s left is a cesspool of right-wing bigotry and tech-industry idolatry, will Musk finally feel satisfied with what he’s created? Kyle Chayka, The New Yorker, 21 Nov. 2023 See all Example Sentences for idolatry 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'idolatry.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near idolatry

Cite this Entry

“Idolatry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


idol·​a·​try ī-ˈdäl-ə-trē How to pronounce idolatry (audio)
plural idolatries
: the worship of an idol as a god
: very great attachment or devotion to something

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