AskDefine | Define idol

Dictionary Definition



1 a material effigy that is worshipped as a god; "thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image"; "money was his god" [syn: graven image, god]
2 someone who is adored blindly and excessively [syn: matinee idol]
3 an ideal instance; a perfect embodiment of a concept [syn: paragon, perfection, beau ideal]

User Contributed Dictionary



From εἴδωλον from εἶδος.


  • , /ˈaɪd(ə)l/, /"aId(@)l/
    Rhymes with: -aɪdəl



  1. A graven image or representation of anything that is revered, or believed to convey spiritual power.
    • 1911 The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God, J. Milton Hayes:
    There's a one-eyed yellow idol to the north of Khatmandu,There's a little marble cross below the town; There's a broken-hearted woman tends the grave of Mad Carew, And the Yellow God forever gazes down.
  2. A cultural icon, or especially popular person.

Derived terms


representation of anything revered
  • Ancient: εἲδωλον
  • Modern: είδωλο (iδolo)
  • Japanese: 偶像 (ぐうぞう, gūzō)
cultural icon, especially popular person

Extensive Definition

An idol is a man-made object that is venerated in some way. More specific terms include:
  • Cult image, a religion-neutral term for a man-made object that is venerated for the deity, spirit or daemon that it embodies or represents.
  • Idolatry, a term used in religion for the non-monotheism worship of cult images, termed idols.
  • Icon, a representative image, sometimes considered sacred.
  • Murti, a point of focus for devotion or meditation in Hindu and Buddhist religion (not always man-made).
Idol may also mean:
Idols may mean:
idol in German: Idol
idol in Modern Greek (1453-): Είδωλο
idol in Polish: Idol
idol in Russian: Идол
idol in Serbian: Идол
idol in Chinese: 偶像

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Baal, Juggernaut, big name, celebrity, companion, constellation, copy, cosset, cynosure, darling, dea, dead ringer, deity, demigod, demigoddess, deus, deva, devi, devil-god, divinity, double, duplicate, effigy, exact likeness, false god, favorite, fellow, fetish, figure, folk hero, fondling, galaxy, god, goddess, golden calf, graven image, great man, heathen god, hero, heroine, icon, ikon, image, immortal, important person, jewel, joss, likeness, lion, living image, living picture, luminaries, luminary, man of mark, master spirit, match, mate, matinee idol, miniature, minion, mirroring, model, name, notability, notable, pagan deity, person of note, personage, pet, phoenix, photograph, picture, pleiad, pop hero, popular hero, popular idol, portrait, preference, public figure, reflection, resemblance, rubbing, semblance, shadow, similitude, simulacrum, social lion, somebody, spit and image, spitting image, spoiled child, star, superstar, symbol, the shining ones, trace, tracing, twin, very image, very picture, worthy
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