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 At the reception, John B., Sarah, JJ, Pope, Cleo, and Kiara are bored with the rich-people theatrics, until a stranger interrupts their present-day idyll with a new conquest. Lauren Puckett-pope, ELLE, 25 Feb. 2023 Positioned high on the north end of the estate, the 10,000-square-foot house — with a high-ceilinged ground-floor enfilade of rooms and a servants’ wing turned guest quarters — is worthy of a Fitzgeraldian idyll. Nancy Hass Ngoc Minh Ngo, New York Times, 23 Sep. 2022 But the summer idyll is over when Avo, a diabetic who for years self-medicated with herbs and spells, suddenly dies. Anna Tatarska, Variety, 16 Nov. 2022 The film is set in a rural idyll, shot on location around Chipiona and Sanlúcar de Barrameda in Andalusia, Spain. Callum Mclennan, Variety, 8 Nov. 2022 In an idyll that would not look out of place in Heidi, the animals spend the summer on pasture in the hills about 10 kilometers away. Lisa Abend/zurich, Time, 22 Sep. 2022 In 2012, Patitz and her son Jonah Johnson were captured in a pastoral idyll at home on their ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley by Lindbergh. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, 11 Jan. 2023 His travelogue promises to attract many other readers for whom a trip down the Mississippi seems a romantic idyll. Danny Heitman, WSJ, 28 July 2022 The island proves to be a lush, tropical idyll that rarely poses any real threat to the castaways. Meg Walters, Vulture, 2 Nov. 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 27 Mar. 2023.

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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