ˈī-dᵊl How to pronounce idyll (audio)
 British usually  ˈi-(ˌ)dil
variants or less commonly idyl
: a simple descriptive work in poetry or prose that deals with rustic life or pastoral scenes or suggests a mood of peace and contentment
: a narrative poem (such as Tennyson's Idylls of the King) treating an epic, romantic, or tragic theme
: a lighthearted carefree episode that is a fit subject for an idyll
: a romantic interlude

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 the change in locale, of course, the rot persists: Even in this idyll, there’s the specter of the missing girl, just as beneath the happy front Alice presents, supports are giving way. Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times, 29 Dec. 2022 In Kfar Aza, the scenes of massacre inside homes were belied by the picture of an idyll that somehow still prevailed outdoors: tidy lawns, strollers, picnic tables. Ruth Margalit, The New Yorker, 13 Oct. 2023 But his suburban idylls, Gaitskill said, belied desolation and loneliness. Brandon Sanchez, Vulture, 10 Oct. 2023 Their idyll there is interrupted by the arrival of Uncle George, who is a widower. David Benedict, Variety, 26 May 2023 Daufuskie Island, South Carolina The Spanish moss, salt marshes, and coastal waterways of the South Carolina Lowcountry color this idyll sandwiched between Savannah and Hilton Head Island. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, 25 Mar. 2023 The faux-mercial, in which cast members Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant and Vanessa Bayer toss leaves, carve pumpkins and cavort in an autumnal idyll, is a sendup of the collective obsession with the flavor and the cringey genre of feminine-care advertising. Emily Heil, Washington Post, 12 Sep. 2023 This Alpine idyll is just one of many overcrowded, photogenic sites across Europe where tensions between residents and tourists have risen to a boiling point. Andy Eckardt, NBC News, 2 Sep. 2023 That idyll ended abruptly Wednesday when a gunman fired on a crowd that had gathered to listen to a cover band on spaghetti night at the watering hole. Karim Doumar, Los Angeles Times, 28 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of idyll was in 1586

Dictionary Entries Near idyll

Cite this Entry

“Idyll.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


variants also idyl
: a simple poetic or prose work that describes peaceful country life
: a scene or event one might write an idyll about

More from Merriam-Webster on idyll

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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