- a person who attacks cherished beliefs, traditional institutions, etc., as being based on error or superstition.
- a breaker or destroyer of images, especially those set up for religious veneration.
Origin of iconoclast
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for iconoclast
Concerned and kind, he was also the ultimate risk taker, an iconoclast with an edgy, hard charging quality about him.They Murdered My Friend
November 17, 2008
I am an iconoclast and have broken my god and cannot put together the pieces.Outdoor Sketching
Francis Hopkinson Smith
I would like to say that I have no fear of the odium of the designation of iconoclast.
There is no iconoclast in the world like an extreme Mohammedan.A Desert Drama
A. Conan Doyle
There was nothing of the revolutionary or the iconoclast about him.The Expositor's Bible: The Epistle to the Galatians
G. G. Findlay
Oliver Cromwell wasn't as moral as Anabel is—nor such an iconoclast.Touch and Go
D. H. Lawrence
- a person who attacks established or traditional concepts, principles, laws, etc
- a destroyer of religious images or sacred objects
- an adherent of the heretical movement within the Greek Orthodox Church from 725 to 842 ad, which aimed at the destruction of icons and religious images
Word Origin and History for iconoclast
"breaker or destroyer of images," 1590s, from French iconoclaste and directly from Medieval Latin iconoclastes, from Late Greek eikonoklastes, from eikon (genitive eikonos) "image" + klastes "breaker," from klas- past tense stem of klan "to break" (see clastic). Originally those in the Eastern Church in 8c. and 9c. whose mobs of followers destroyed icons and other religious objects on the grounds that they were idols. Applied to 16c.-17c. Protestants in Netherlands who vandalized former Catholic churches on similar grounds. Extended sense of "one who attacks orthodox beliefs or institutions" is first attested 1842.