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 Their island idyll is cut short by tragedy, which coincides with a cholera outbreak in the city. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 May 2024 The eight options include coastal villas in Greece and along the Riviera, an island idyll in the Caribbean, an ornate former convent in South America, and a private game reserve in South Africa. Eleni N. Gage, Travel + Leisure, 4 May 2024 Her wail undercuts the boys’ spiritedness and keeps the film from devolving into a homespun childhood idyll. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, 18 Apr. 2024 But the show of force also disrupts a revered idyll. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, 28 Mar. 2024 Within a year of its construction, this prehistoric idyll met a dramatic end. Franz Lidz, New York Times, 19 Mar. 2024 Designed to tie in the five elements and the five senses, this Greek idyll is built into a mountain and has a large spherical pool as its physical and spiritual center. Leila Milgrim, Condé Nast Traveler, 21 Feb. 2024 His studio there is a former sausage factory converted into a horticultural idyll, replete with bonsais, butterflies and beehives, hidden behind high walls. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, 1 Mar. 2024 Her back yard was a suburban idyll: a swing set on an AstroTurf lawn, an oak tree, a small dog; Tel Aviv was only forty minutes away, if the traffic was light. Shane Bauer, The New Yorker, 26 Feb. 2024

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 May. 2024.

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

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