- a conception of something in its perfection.
- a standard of perfection or excellence.
- a person or thing conceived as embodying such a conception or conforming to such a standard, and taken as a model for imitation: Thomas Jefferson was his ideal.
- an ultimate object or aim of endeavor, especially one of high or noble character: He refuses to compromise any of his ideals.
- something that exists only in the imagination: To achieve the ideal is almost hopeless.
- Mathematics. a subring of a ring, any element of which when multiplied by any element of the ring results in an element of the subring.
- conceived as constituting a standard of perfection or excellence: ideal beauty.
- regarded as perfect of its kind: an ideal spot for a home.
- existing only in the imagination; not real or actual: Nature is real; beauty is ideal.
- advantageous; excellent; best: It would be ideal if she could accompany us as she knows the way.
- based upon an ideal or ideals: the ideal theory of numbers.
- pertaining to a possible state of affairs considered as highly desirable.
- pertaining to or of the nature of idealism.
Origin of ideal
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for ideal
White and Crandall agree that low-intensity workouts are ideal.5 Hangover Cures to Save You After a Few Too Many
December 19, 2014
The land at Easter Elchies was the ideal place for Reid to set up his business.Ester Elchies, The Estate Built By Whiskey
December 10, 2014
I reached out with heartfelt pleas, and spoke to people that I felt were ideal—and I was right in most cases.Idris Elba on Eric Garner, ‘Mi Mandela,’ and Selling Weed to Dave Chappelle
December 6, 2014
The problem comes at this point because the liquid loses its potency within an hour even in ideal conditions.Powdered Measles Vaccine Could Be Huge for Developing World
December 2, 2014
If I said “refugees,” that stood for the ideal of everything I did when I ran for president.Wyclef Jean Talks Lauryn Hill, the Yele Haiti Controversy, and Chris Christie
November 20, 2014
He was not by any means an ideal monk, but he was equally far from being a scandal.The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
And this ideal of equality and individuality was fixed in the American mind.'Tis Sixty Years Since
Charles Francis Adams
The ideal, or even my own ideal, I shall probably not attain.
It is a thought, an ideal, which has led to an entirely new line of action.
He knew something of horses, and this bay fitted into his dreams of an ideal perfectly.Way of the Lawless
- a conception of something that is perfect, esp that which one seeks to attain
- a person or thing considered to represent perfectionhe's her ideal
- something existing only as an idea
- a pattern or model, esp of ethical behaviour
- conforming to an ideal
- of, involving, or existing in the form of an idea
- of or relating to a highly desirable and possible state of affairs
- of or relating to idealism
Word Origin and History for ideal
early 15c., "pertaining to an archetype or model," from Late Latin idealis "existing in idea," from Latin idea in the Platonic sense (see idea). Sense of "perfect" first recorded 1610s.
"perfect person or thing," 1796, in a translation of Kant, from ideal (adj.).
- A conception of something in its absolute perfection.
- One that is regarded as a standard or model of perfection or excellence.