idol·​ize | \ ˈī-də-ˌlīz How to pronounce idolize (audio) \
idolized; idolizing

Definition of idolize

transitive verb

: to worship as a god broadly : to love or admire to excess the common people whom he so idolized The Times Literary Supplement (London)

intransitive verb

: to practice idolatry

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Other Words from idolize

idolization \ ˌī-​də-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce idolize (audio) \ noun
idolizer \ ˈī-​də-​ˌlī-​zər How to pronounce idolize (audio) \ noun

Examples of idolize in a Sentence

an actor who is idolized by millions she blindly idolized her older sister, refusing to acknowledge her considerable faults
Recent Examples on the Web The cheerleaders of Popular, especially Mary Cherry, began a genealogy of Murphy characters who either idolize, or actually are, Gwyneth Paltrow—the foils for a menagerie of misfits who are obsessed with them. Jackson Mchenry, Vulture, "With a big Netflix deal and the power to green-light almost anything, Ryan Murphy has become the ultimate insider. And his work is suffering.," 4 Jan. 2021 Who better for the kid to idolize than Dubón, a Giants rookie who’s the first player in big-league history born and raised in Honduras? John Shea,, "Giants’ Mauricio Dubón makes wishes come true for Honduran child," 9 Sep. 2020 Girls will always have floaty-haired ice skaters to idolize. Anna Katz, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Illustrators Brought the Spunky Ramona Quimby to Life," 3 Sep. 2020 The campaigns often used Black and Hispanic celebrities and sports figures that youth idolize to carry the message, the report said. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Billions spent on ads encouraging minority youth to drink sugar-laden beverages despite health consequences," 23 June 2020 Pi, who grew up in Florida idolizing Tracy McGrady, watches old McGrady highlights on YouTube. Connor Letourneau,, "SF’s Miraloma among storied playground hoops hotspots idled by coronavirus," 8 May 2020 Rising stars Naomi Osaka, 22, and Coco Gauff, 15, idolized Williams. Time, "2003: Serena Williams," 5 Mar. 2020 As a kid, Lavingia, who was born in the US but grew up in Singapore, idolized Bill Gates. Klint Finley, Wired, "He Wanted a Unicorn. He Got ... a Sustainable Business," 19 Jan. 2020 Born in Capljina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, a town of 28,000 just across the Croatian border, Bender grew up idolizing Toni Kukoc. Connor Letourneau,, "Why Warriors’ Dragan Bender could be a steal on a 10-day contract," 24 Feb. 2020

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

1598, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Time Traveler for idolize

Time Traveler

The first known use of idolize was in 1598

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Statistics for idolize

Last Updated

21 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Idolize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for idolize



English Language Learners Definition of idolize

: to love or admire (someone) very much or too much


idol·​ize | \ ˈī-də-ˌlīz How to pronounce idolize (audio) \
idolized; idolizing

Kids Definition of idolize

: to love or admire greatly : make an idol of The boy idolized his father.

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