- a concept developed by the mind.
- a conception of what is desirable or ought to be; ideal.
- (initial capital letter)Platonism.Also called form. an archetype or pattern of which the individual objects in any natural class are imperfect copies and from which they derive their being.
- Kantianism. idea of pure reason.
- a likeness.
- a mental image.
Origin of idea
The Greek noun idéa comes from the very common, very complicated Proto-Indo-European root weid-, woid-, wid- “to see.” In Greek the variant woid- forms the verb oîda ( woîda in some dialects), meaning “I know.” (In form, oîda is a perfect tense used to show a present state: “I have seen, I know.”)
Woidos, a noun derived from woid-, becomes veda- “knowledge” in Sanskrit ( Rig-Veda means “knowledge of the hymns, sacred stanzas”). The variant wid- forms the Greek noun idéa, and the infinitive ideîn (also wideîn ), the Latin infinitive vidēre, and the Slavic (Czech) vidět, all meaning “to see.”
Weid-, woid-, wid- become wīt-, wait-, wit- in Germanic. The suffixed form wīt-to- forms the adjective wīsaz, Old English wīs (English wise ), and Old English wīsdōm “learning” (English wisdom ).
Examples from the Web for idea
We need to recover and grow the idea that the proper answer to bad speech is more and better speech.
I like the idea of Jon Hamm… There have been discussions—though I'm not sure how serious they've been.‘Archer’ Creator Adam Reed Spills Season 6 Secrets, From Surreal Plotlines to Life Post-ISIS|Marlow Stern|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
But at the heart of this “Truther” conspiracy theory is the idea that “someone” wants to destroy Bill Cosby.
“The US cannot tolerate the idea of any rival economic entity,” Stone writes.
Perhaps, as Dwight Garner wrote, Steinberg just needed an idea for a book.
The door below it was also open, and with the idea that I would surely find some one there, I walked on up the hall.In the Fog|Richard Harding Davis
He could not bring himself to the idea of confessions and disavowals.The Secret Places of the Heart|H. G. Wells
All this will give an idea of the variety of duties of a tea-planter.Ranching, Sport and Travel|Thomas Carson
"I suppose I should have shown up," said Bob—concealing the fact that the idea had never occurred to him.Back To Billabong|Mary Grant Bruce
The moon is still figured as a bull, but it is the idea of strength that is extracted from the picture and dwelt upon.The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria|Morris Jastrow
British Dictionary definitions for idea (1 of 2)
- a private mental object, regarded as the immediate object of thought or perception
- a Platonic Idea or Form
Word Origin for idea
British Dictionary definitions for idea (2 of 2)
Word Origin and History for idea
late 14c., "archetype of a thing in the mind of God; Platonic `idea,'" from Latin idea "idea," and in Platonic philosophy "archetype," from Greek idea "ideal prototype," literally "the look of a thing (as opposed to the reality); form; kind, sort, nature," from idein "to see," from PIE *wid-es-ya-, suffixed form of root *weid- "to see" (see vision). Sense of "result of thinking" first recorded 1640s.
Men of one idea, like a hen with one chicken, and that a duckling. [Thoreau, "Walden"]
Idée fixe (1836) is from French, literally "fixed idea."
Medicine definitions for idea
Idioms and Phrases with idea
see bright idea; put ideas in someone's head; what's the idea.