\ ˈī-dᵊl How to pronounce idyll (audio) , British usually ˈi-(ˌ)dil \
variants: or less commonly idyl

Definition of idyll

1a : a simple descriptive work in poetry or prose that deals with rustic life or pastoral scenes or suggests a mood of peace and contentment
b : a narrative poem (such as Tennyson's Idylls of the King) treating an epic, romantic, or tragic theme
2a : a lighthearted carefree episode that is a fit subject for an idyll
b : a romantic interlude

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Examples of idyll in a Sentence

her year as a vineyard worker in the south of France was not the idyll that she had expected it to be
Recent Examples on the Web Despite—or perhaps because of—their mountaintop idyll, the friary was disbanded in the 1980s and sold to two local investors. James Tarmy,, "Seafood Millionaire’s Mansion Has Secret Passages and a Church," 19 Aug. 2020 To the city folk who sojourn there, West Marin is an agrarian idyll. Leilani Marie Labong,, "Stalled by a pandemic, West Marin producers turn to trading foodstuffs," 21 May 2020 This surrealist idyll isn’t too far-fetched, say a team of researchers from China, Italy and Japan. Anne Quito, Quartz Africa, "Researchers are sitting on tech that could transform trees into power generators," 11 Mar. 2020 The idylls and excesses that consumed the lives of the wealthy, though, soon shift to far grimmer concerns, as World War II progressed from an ominous shadow to a terrible reality. Rebekah Denn, The Christian Science Monitor, "Coco Chanel in wartime: She was at all times ‘pro-Chanel’," 15 Apr. 2020 More than 500 years on, this tiny idyll hardly seems like an obvious site for an international trade war. Vivienne Walt, Fortune, "French Winemakers Are Angry About Trump’s Tariffs. American Importers Are Even Angrier," 10 Jan. 2020 Their visits to him at his home in the south of France — Alex exulting, comically, in the foreignness of the place names — become cozy beachside idylls for the tight-knit bunch. New York Times, "‘Sea Wall/A Life’ Review: Quiet Tragicomedies of Love and Loss," 8 Aug. 2019 The idylls are punctuated by the discordant sounds of a tape rewinding at hyper-speed. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: Arthur Miller’s Dying ‘Salesman’ Is Reborn in London," 2 Jan. 2020 But amid the idyll, the residents of La Mora recognized their community’s strategic importance. Kevin Sieff, Washington Post, "How Mexico’s cartel wars shattered American Mormons’ peaceful, but wary, existence," 7 Nov. 2019

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

1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for idyll

Latin idyllium, from Greek eidyllion, from diminutive of eidos form; akin to Greek idein to see — more at wit

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Time Traveler for idyll

Time Traveler

The first known use of idyll was in 1586

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Statistics for idyll

Last Updated

25 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Idyll.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for idyll


How to pronounce idyll (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of idyll

: a simple poem or other piece of writing that describes peaceful country life
: a happy and enjoyable scene or experience

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