- 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 ideals
A soldier in the service of ideals and aspirations that formed his core.Mario Cuomo, Always Moving Us Toward the Light
January 4, 2015
Could he have won the White House in 1992, and if he had, would he have lived up to his ideals?President Cuomo Would’ve Been a Lion
January 2, 2015
In an effort to cope with the implications of this question, Americans have subtly but sweepingly shifted their ideals.How Young People Are Destroying Liberty
October 11, 2014
Their main loyalty is to the values and ideals of our nation.Why We’ll Always Need a Civil Rights Movement
July 15, 2014
President Obama told Ukrainians “neither the United States nor Europe are perfect in adherence to our ideals.”President Obama’s Belgian Waffle
March 27, 2014
There is no short cut to the making of these ideals into glad realities.
Americans, of all people, should never be surprised by the power of our ideals.
Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our Nation.
Was it possible that such a woman had no understanding of ideals of honour in love?
Until she knew of that world and its ideals, how could I expect her to understand my motives?
- 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 ideals
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.