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

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
idolization noun
idolizer noun

Examples of idolize in a Sentence

an actor who is idolized by millions she blindly idolized her older sister, refusing to acknowledge any of her faults
Recent Examples on the Web Growing up, Robert LeSage and his two older brothers, Richard and David, idolized their father. Cara Tabachnick, CBS News, 11 Nov. 2023 Ramon Estevez, 60 On Aug. 7, 1963, Martin and Janet welcomed their second son Ramon Estevez — his father's namesake — in N.Y.C. From a young age, Ramon was interested in entertaining and was drawn to acting, singing and dancing, especially idolizing Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. Francesca Gariano, Peoplemag, 25 Oct. 2023 Aaron, an intelligent kid, idolized his dad and wanted to be just like him, Young said. Jeong Park, Los Angeles Times, 28 Oct. 2023 As a young girl, Spears idolized the star—and wanted to be like her. TIME, 20 Oct. 2023 Tonantzin and the Virgen de Guadalupe — revered and pure — are idolized, whereas Coatlicue (Aztec mother goddess) and La Llorona are objectified. Sarah Quiñones Wolfson, Los Angeles Times, 16 Oct. 2023 Anthony Richardson news The making of a QB:Chasing Tim Tebow, idolizing Tom Brady, fighting fires Supporting cast:Have the Colts done enough to help Richardson? Scott Horner, The Indianapolis Star, 10 Sep. 2023 The exemplary qualities extend to the actress’s embodiment of Eva, who seems elementally connected to the working-class public that idolized her. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 2 Oct. 2023 Shooting is underway in Rome on the sophisticated comedy, in which Doillon — a model, actor and singer-songwriter, like her half-sister Charlotte Gainsbourg — plays an eclectic, successful singer who strikes up a turbulent friendship with a younger female musician who idolizes her. Nick Vivarelli, Variety, 25 Sep. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1598, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of idolize was in 1598

Dictionary Entries Near idolize

Cite this Entry

“Idolize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


idol·​ize ˈīd-ᵊl-ˌīz How to pronounce idolize (audio)
idolized; idolizing
: to worship as an idol : love or admire too much
idolizer noun

More from Merriam-Webster on idolize

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