\ 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

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 The pleasurable late-summer idyll of the first half, disrupted by occasional ripples of tension and jealousy, gives way to a curious mix of chaos and tedium. Justin Changfilm Critic, Los Angeles Times, 3 June 2022 Gradually, however, in the 1980s, Duplin’s pastoral idyll becomes a mephitic dead zone, thanks to the nightmarish business scheme of an ambitious hog farmer named Wendell H. Murphy. Jeff Calder, ajc, 3 June 2022 But, in similar movements—among them Amsterdam’s Stop de Kindermood (Stop Killing Children) campaign of the seventies, which turned that city into a bike idyll—mothers, bearing an anguish poignant to the public, had proved effective as victims. Danyoung Kim, The New Yorker, 2 June 2022 This past spring, a small group of women gathered at the Beaverbrook estate in Surrey, England, a 470-acre country idyll outside London that once received guests including Elizabeth Taylor and Ian Fleming. Fiorella Valdesolo, Vogue, 1 June 2022 Long before Tuesday, reality interfered with some visions of Uvalde as a pastoral idyll. Teo Armus, Washington Post, 29 May 2022 After months of next to no infections, omicron shattered Hong Kong’s virus-free idyll and caught authorities unprepared. Shirley Zhao,, 16 Feb. 2022 The utopia of Dickens’s fiction, also impossibly outdated today, maybe even outdated in 1850, is the domestic idyll. The New Yorker, 28 Feb. 2022 The Budapest of von Neumann’s childhood, the fin of a buoyant siècle, was a cosmopolitan idyll in which Jews were able to prosper, and the von Neumanns could afford tutors, country homes, and private libraries. Samanth Subramanian, The New Republic, 8 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

9 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Idyll.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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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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