\ 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 But there is disaster here, too, even in this suburban idyll: One girl confronts violence at home, another betrays her best friend, another grievously injures a teammate. New York Times, 10 Nov. 2021 The part of the gun industry that Busse entered was, in his own telling, a kind of idyll. Benjamin Wallace-wells, The New Yorker, 16 Nov. 2021 The arrival of professor Simon Lewis and his colleagues in Ikenge just months later would indeed upend this calm idyll tucked away in one of the world’s remaining rainforests. Washington Post, 16 Dec. 2021 But her spinier attributes emerge when her idyll is crashed by a rowdy extended family of holidaymakers with various squealing children in tow. Guy Lodge, Los Angeles Times, 16 Dec. 2021 When a chaotic group — among them a young woman and child — disturbs her idyll on the beach, Leda watches the pair with tenderness and pain on her face. New York Times, 7 Dec. 2021 But the idyll was disrupted when SpaceX, the aerospace company, came to town in 2014 to build a commercial spaceport. Olivia Solon, NBC News, 8 Dec. 2021 At the same time, of course, the British countryside idyll was traditionally a lifestyle reserved for a certain kind of person, namely someone white and Protestant. New York Times, 21 Oct. 2021 But the idyll is short-lived, as SPECTRE agents hunt them down. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 28 Sep. 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

22 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Idyll.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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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

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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