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90s Slang You Should Know


[ahyd-l] /ˈaɪd l/
an image or other material object representing a deity to which religious worship is addressed.
  1. an image of a deity other than God.
  2. the deity itself.
any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, or devotion:
Madame Curie had been her childhood idol.
a mere image or semblance of something, visible but without substance, as a phantom.
a figment of the mind; fantasy.
a false conception or notion; fallacy.
Origin of idol
1200-50; Middle English < Late Latin īdōlum < Greek eídōlon image, idol, derivative of eîdos shape, form
Can be confused
idle, idol, idyll (see synonym study at idle)
1. See image. 3. favorite, darling, pet. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for idol
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was her idol––not a very pretty one, but idols are not often pretty.

    The Cup of Fury Rupert Hughes
  • Not a vestige of idolatry was to be seen, not an idol was to be found in the island.

    Captain Cook W.H.G. Kingston
  • He knew how Jenny would read the resolution, and Jenny had been his idol.

    The Great Miss Driver Anthony Hope
  • This is the idol we are worshiping instead of the true and only God.

    The Right Knock Helen Van-Anderson
  • But she was still their idol, and Chukkers had butchered her before their eyes.

    Boy Woodburn Alfred Ollivant
British Dictionary definitions for idol


a material object, esp a carved image, that is worshipped as a god
(Christianity, Judaism) any being (other than the one God) to which divine honour is paid
a person who is revered, admired, or highly loved
Word Origin
C13: from Late Latin īdōlum, from Latin: image, from Greek eidōlon, from eidos shape, form
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for idol

mid-13c., "image of a deity as an object of (pagan) worship," from Old French idole "idol, graven image, pagan god," from Late Latin idolum "image (mental or physical), form," used in Church Latin for "false god," from Greek eidolon "appearance, reflection in water or a mirror," later "mental image, apparition, phantom," also "material image, statue," from eidos "form" (see -oid). Figurative sense of "something idolized" is first recorded 1560s (in Middle English the figurative sense was "someone who is false or untrustworthy"). Meaning "a person so adored" is from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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