\ 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 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 This idyll was founded on an illusion of white gentility. Michael Lapointe, The New Yorker, 20 May 2021 The spats quickly turned public, disrupting the bohemian idyll. Heidi Levine, WSJ, 8 May 2021 Take Mom on this lovely loop hike that starts in lush Fern Dell, a surprisingly woodsy idyll that will be hard to leave behind. Los Angeles Times, 6 May 2021 After a long period of emotional devastation—devastation spurred by her encounter with the devil yet only hinted at—M has finally landed in a rural idyll on the shores of a marsh in an unspecified country. Claire Dederer, The Atlantic, 4 May 2021 Don’s floral idyll is Longmeadow, a two-acre garden in western England close to the Welsh border, which millions of viewers have seen grow and develop over the past few years. Washington Post, 7 Apr. 2021 Not so for Hockney, who Goulds predicts will remain enraptured by his newfound idyll for some time to come. Vanessa Lawrence, ELLE Decor, 17 Mar. 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

15 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Idyll.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 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


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