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[ahy-dol-uh-tree] /aɪˈdɒl ə tri/
noun, plural idolatries.
the religious worship of idols.
excessive or blind adoration, reverence, devotion, etc.
Origin of idolatry
1200-50; Middle English idolatrie < Medieval Latin īdōlatrīa, by haplology from Late Latin īdōlolatrīa Greek (NT) eidōlolatreía. See idol, -latry
Related forms
self-idolatry, noun
2. obsession, madness, mania. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for idolatry
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Israelites had been accustomed to an idolatry where the most common familiarities were practised with the idol gods.

  • 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
  • A living representative of Liberty was chosen as less likely to tend to idolatry than an image of stone.

    The Story of Paris Thomas Okey
  • She had boundless admiration for her queen, amounting actually to idolatry.

    Samuel Brohl & Company Victor Cherbuliez
  • The Church was declared to have become apostate, its priesthood was denounced as no priesthood, its sacraments as idolatry.

  • Her devotion to it is the latest and the most terrible form of idolatry.

    No Compromise with Slavery William Lloyd Garrison
  • Relapse into idolatry shortly after giving the decalogue, 23.

British Dictionary definitions for idolatry


the worship of idols
great devotion or reverence
Derived Forms
idolater, noun
idolatress, noun:feminine
idolatrous, adjective
idolatrously, adverb
idolatrousness, 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
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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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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