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

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 Lawrence is correct: Bauer isn’t a kindergarten teacher — his sphere of influence as a pro ballplayer extends far beyond one classroom to millions of fans — including impressionable children who idolize pro athletes. Los Angeles Times, 30 Apr. 2022 More politics Jackson and Kamala Harris idolize civil rights lawyers like Constance Baker Motley. Los Angeles Times, 5 Apr. 2022 These recent television moments depart from typical Hollywood storylines that celebrate and idolize youth and physical fitness. Ai-jen Poo, The Hollywood Reporter, 29 Mar. 2022 Dave Attell, one of those comedians that other comedians idolize, is at Foxwoods Resort Casino’s Great Cedar Showroom, 350 Trolley Line Blvd., Mashantucket. Christopher Arnott,, 6 Jan. 2022 Treat church leaders at all levels as respected persons, but do not idolize them. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 2 Jan. 2022 Despite the popularity of Manchester United in Norway, the young Bøe Risa was not one to follow soccer on television or idolize any of the players. Asif Burhan, Forbes, 2 Sep. 2021 In July, analysts with the country’s intelligence services warned that a decade after the 2011 attack, there are young men and boys who idolize the gunman. New York Times, 14 Oct. 2021 In an industry obsessed with physical appearances and beauty standards that idolize able-bodiedness, prejudice -- though not always as blatant as that recounted by Snell -- has always been part of the casting process. Lottie Jackson, CNN, 29 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of idolize

1598, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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The first known use of idolize was in 1598

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Last Updated

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Idolize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for idolize


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on idolize

Nglish: Translation of idolize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of idolize for Arabic Speakers


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