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or idyl

[ahyd-l] /ˈaɪd l/
a poem or prose composition, usually describing pastoral scenes or events or any charmingly simple episode, appealing incident, or the like.
a simple descriptive or narrative piece in verse or prose.
material suitable for such a work.
an episode or scene of idyllic charm.
a brief or inconsequential romantic affair.
Music. a composition, usually instrumental, of a pastoral or sentimental character.
Origin of idyll
1595-1605; < Latin īdyllium < Greek eidýllion short pastoral poem, equivalent to eíd(os) form + -yllion diminutive suffix
Can be confused
idle, idol, idyll (see synonym study at idle) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for idyll
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She is the idyll of our shanty, and our regard for her approaches to idolatry.

    Brighter Britain! (Volume 1 of 2) William Delisle Hay
  • The refrain of the poem increases its resemblance to the form of a Greek idyll.

    Epic and Romance

    W. P. Ker
  • But he had the distinct feeling that there was something wrong with this idyll.

    The Marooner Charles A. Stearns
  • Compare this idyll, in respect to reality, with the other two you have studied.

  • She ought to act in an idyll by Theocritus, as he was a Sicilian like herself.

  • The idyll is, according to the etymology of its name, a "little picture."

    Lady of the Lake Sir Walter Scott
  • It shall be a poem, an idyll—far from all interruptions, far from intrigues!'

    A German Pompadour Marie Hay
  • They were both silent for a long time and in the silence the idyll was re-lived.

    The Branding Iron Katharine Newlin Burt
  • This ought to have completed the idyll, but it seemed, on the contrary, to put an end to it.

    Fair Haven and Foul Strand August Strindberg
British Dictionary definitions for idyll


a poem or prose work describing an idealized rural life, pastoral scenes, etc
any simple narrative or descriptive piece in poetry or prose
a charming or picturesque scene or event
a piece of music with a calm or pastoral character
Word Origin
C17: from Latin īdyllium, from Greek eidullion, from eidos shape, (literary) 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 idyll

also idyl, c.1600, "picturesque pastoral poem," from Latin idyllium, from Greek eidyllion "short, descriptive poem, usually of rustic or pastoral type," literally "a little picture," diminutive of eidos "form" (see -oid).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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