[ahy-dee-uh, ahy-deeuh]


Nearby words

  1. idc,
  2. idd,
  3. iddhi,
  4. iddm,
  5. ide,
  6. idea hamster,
  7. idea man,
  8. idea of pure reason,
  9. idea of reference,
  10. ideaistic

Origin of idea

1400–50; < Late Latin < Greek idéā form, pattern, equivalent to ide- (stem of ideîn to see) + feminine noun ending; replacing late Middle English idee < Middle French < Late Latin, as above; akin to wit1

1, 2. Idea, thought, conception, notion refer to a product of mental activity. Idea, although it may refer to thoughts of any degree of seriousness or triviality, is commonly used for mental concepts considered more important or elaborate: We pondered the idea of the fourth dimension. The idea of his arrival frightened me. Thought, which reflects its primary emphasis on the mental process, may denote any concept except the more weighty and elaborate ones: I welcomed his thoughts on the subject. A thought came to him. Conception suggests a thought that seems complete, individual, recent, or somewhat intricate: The architect's conception delighted them. Notion suggests a fleeting, vague, or imperfect thought: a bare notion of how to proceed. 4. sentiment, judgment.

Related formsi·de·a·less, adjectivepre·i·de·a, nounsub·i·de·a, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for idea

British Dictionary definitions for idea



any content of the mind, esp the conscious mind
the thought of somethingthe very idea appals me
a mental representation of somethingshe's got a good idea of the layout of the factory
the characterization of something in general terms; conceptthe idea of a square circle is self-contradictory
an individual's conception of somethinghis idea of honesty is not the same as yours and mine
the belief that something is the casehe has the idea that what he's doing is right
a scheme, intention, plan, etchere's my idea for the sales campaign
a vague notion or indication; inklinghe had no idea of what life would be like in Africa
significance or purposethe idea of the game is to discover the murderer
  1. a private mental object, regarded as the immediate object of thought or perception
  2. a Platonic Idea or Form
music a thematic phrase or figure; motif
obsolete a mental image
get ideas to become ambitious, restless, etc
not one's idea of not what one regards as (hard work, a holiday, etc)
that's an idea that is worth considering
the very idea! that is preposterous, unreasonable, etc
Derived Formsidealess, adjective

Word Origin for idea

C16: via Late Latin from Greek: model, pattern, notion, from idein to see


It is usually considered correct to say that someone has the idea of doing something, rather than the idea to do it: he had the idea of taking (not the idea to take) a short holiday



another name for 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

Word Origin and History for idea


Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for idea




Something, such as a thought or conception, that potentially or actually exists in the mind as a product of mental activity.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with idea


see bright idea; put ideas in someone's head; what's the idea.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.