Synonyms & Antonyms of ideal

(Entry 1 of 2)



Synonyms & Antonyms of ideal (Entry 2 of 2)

1 someone of such unequaled perfection as to deserve imitation
  • she's our ideal of the concerned, caring physician

Synonyms for ideal

Words Related to ideal

2 the most perfect type or example
  • the Taj Mahal in India is generally regarded as the ideal of Mogul architectural beauty

Synonyms for ideal

Words Related to ideal

3 something that one hopes or intends to accomplish
  • his ideal is to make enough money so that he can retire at 50

Synonyms for ideal

Words Related to ideal

Phrases Synonymous with ideal

Near Antonyms for ideal

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About ideal

How does the noun ideal differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of ideal are example, exemplar, model, and pattern. While all these words mean "someone or something set before one for guidance or imitation," ideal implies the best possible exemplification either in reality or in conception.

never found a job that matched his ideal

When can example be used instead of ideal?

The synonyms example and ideal are sometimes interchangeable, but example applies to a person to be imitated or in some contexts on no account to be imitated but to be regarded as a warning.

children tend to follow the example of their parents

When might exemplar be a better fit than ideal?

The words exemplar and ideal are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, exemplar suggests either a faultless example to be emulated or a perfect typification.

cited Joan of Arc as the exemplar of courage

In what contexts can model take the place of ideal?

The words model and ideal can be used in similar contexts, but model applies to something taken or proposed as worthy of imitation.

a decor that is a model of good taste

When could pattern be used to replace ideal?

Although the words pattern and ideal have much in common, pattern suggests a clear and detailed archetype or prototype.

American industry set a pattern for others to follow

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About ideal

Time Traveler for ideal

Time Traveler

The first known use of ideal was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Thesaurus Entries Near ideal




See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Ideal.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on ideal

Nglish: Translation of ideal for Spanish Speakers

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!