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noun, plural i·dol·a·tries.
  1. the religious worship of idols.
  2. excessive or blind adoration, reverence, devotion, etc.
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Origin of idolatry

1200–50; Middle English idolatrie < Medieval Latin īdōlatrīa, by haplology from Late Latin īdōlolatrīa Greek (NT) eidōlolatreía. See idol, -latry
Related formsself-i·dol·a·try, noun


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2. obsession, madness, mania.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for idolatry


  1. the worship of idols
  2. great devotion or reverence
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Derived Formsidolater, nounidolatress, fem nidolatrous, adjectiveidolatrously, adverbidolatrousness, noun
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

Word Origin and History for idolatry


mid-13c., from Old French idolatrie, from Vulgar Latin idolatria, shortened from Late Latin idololatria (Tertullian), from Ecclesiastical Greek eidololatria "worship of idols," from eidolon "image" (see idol) + latreia "worship, service" (see -latry).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper