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

Example Sentences

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 Russell’s screenplay is too manic to establish the three-way union forged during the Amsterdam idyll as the film’s true heart, despite its title. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 Sep. 2022 Their sunny Mediterranean idyll soon reveals itself as a hazy glimpse into a bittersweet past, sometimes mediated by home-video footage and sometimes halted by eerie flash-forwards. Los Angeles Times, 16 Sep. 2022 After scoring the real estate deal of a lifetime—leasing the tropical idyll from the government for a mere dollar a year—the Caldwells transformed the lush, 135-acre expanse into the 10-room Palm Island Beach Club. Dana Givens, Robb Report, 27 Oct. 2022 The idyll of Hawaii — in the pre-vaccine era — prompted complicated emotions. Daniel D'addario, Variety, 4 Aug. 2022 The 1918 Armistice had brought no idyll, yet at least there had been a chance to heal the hurts of war. John Garth, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 Sep. 2022 What’s been edited out of this idyll is the enormous toil floral industry professionals do, often with little economic rewards. Anne Quito, Quartz, 3 Aug. 2022 The roar of jets and exploding shells smashes this idyll as the children are forced to take refuge in a basement with their families and neighbors. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, 11 Mar. 2022 The Seattle businessman, Washington state Republican legislator and father of four was enjoying a summer day after a golf outing at his home on Bainbridge Island in 1965 when his peaceful idyll was interrupted by his restless children. Fox News, 19 Aug. 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.

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 30 Nov. 2022.

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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