\ 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 But the impending Nazi occupation of Hungary threatens to shatter this idyll, and when the daughter of a leading member of the resistance arrives at the school, a secret agent finds himself in a race against time to save the students. Christopher Vourlias, Variety, 5 Sep. 2021 With the Sierra Madre Mountains on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other, the cliffside Cala de Mar is a Mexican idyll, surrounded by tropical forest. John Wogan, Travel + Leisure, 8 July 2020 This was where Sebald grew up: an almost premodern idyll of breathtaking beauty, the atmosphere of which was nevertheless laden with trauma and terror. Ryu Spaeth, The New Republic, 19 Aug. 2021 Scenes are set before the mural that stretches behind the resort’s front desk: native Hawaiians, frozen in pastoral idyll on the land now occupied by the hotel itself. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, 16 Aug. 2021 The movie opens with a backstory, a suburban childhood idyll that’s about to turn south very quickly: A young mother who has earlier explained, briefly, the science behind fireflies to her two young daughters gets dinner ready for her family. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, 8 July 2021 In the slanting sunlight, unhurried and companionable, the two picked their way through the undergrowth, a vision of the rural idyll. New York Times, 28 June 2021 Defoe’s hero, who passes his tropical idyll in reading, small excursions and occasional home improvement, might continue to teach me a thing or two about what an ideal summer looks like. Danny Heitman, WSJ, 26 May 2021 Over the years, Hearn and Setsu, to his dismay and her delight, moved from the rural idyll of Matsue to more urbane and industrialized cities, Hearn griping all the way. Christopher Carroll, The New York Review of Books, 25 May 2021

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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Last Updated

19 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Idyll.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for idyll



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

More from Merriam-Webster on idyll

Nglish: Translation of idyll for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of idyll for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about idyll


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