View synonyms for ideal


[ ahy-dee-uhl, ahy-deel ]


  1. a conception of something in its perfection.

    Synonyms: epitome

  2. a standard of perfection or excellence.

    Synonyms: epitome

  3. a person or thing conceived as embodying such a conception or conforming to such a standard, and taken as a model for imitation:

    Thomas Jefferson was his ideal.

  4. an ultimate object or aim of endeavor, especially one of high or noble character:

    He refuses to compromise any of his ideals.

    Synonyms: objective, intention

  5. something that exists only in the imagination:

    To achieve the ideal is almost hopeless.

  6. Mathematics. a subring of a ring, any element of which when multiplied by any element of the ring results in an element of the subring.


  1. conceived as constituting a standard of perfection or excellence:

    ideal beauty.

    Synonyms: complete, consummate, perfect

  2. regarded as perfect of its kind:

    an ideal spot for a home.

  3. existing only in the imagination; not real or actual:

    Nature is real; beauty is ideal.

    Synonyms: fantastic, fanciful, imaginary, illusory

  4. advantageous; excellent; best:

    It would be ideal if she could accompany us as she knows the way.

  5. based upon an ideal or ideals:

    the ideal theory of numbers.

  6. Philosophy.
    1. pertaining to a possible state of affairs considered as highly desirable.
    2. pertaining to or of the nature of idealism.


/ aɪˈdɪəl; ˌaɪdɪˈælɪtɪ /


  1. a conception of something that is perfect, esp that which one seeks to attain
  2. a person or thing considered to represent perfection

    he's her ideal

  3. something existing only as an idea
  4. a pattern or model, esp of ethical behaviour


  1. conforming to an ideal
  2. of, involving, or existing in the form of an idea
  3. philosophy
    1. of or relating to a highly desirable and possible state of affairs
    2. of or relating to idealism
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Derived Forms

  • iˈdeally, adverb
  • ideality, noun
  • iˈdealness, noun
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Other Words From

  • i·deal·ness noun
  • quasi-i·deal adjective
  • quasi-i·deal·ly adverb
  • subi·deal adjective noun
  • super·i·deal adjective noun
  • super·i·deal·ly adverb
  • uni·deal adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of ideal1

From the Late Latin word ideālis, dating back to 1605–15. See idea, -al 1
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Synonym Study

Ideal, example, model refer to something considered as a standard to strive toward or something considered worthy of imitation. An ideal is a concept or standard of perfection, existing merely as an image in the mind, or based upon a person or upon conduct: We admire the high ideals of a religious person. Sir Philip Sidney was considered the ideal in gentlemanly conduct. An example is a person or the conduct or achievements of a person regarded as worthy of being followed or imitated in a general way; or sometimes, as properly to be avoided: an example of courage; a bad example to one's children. A model is primarily a physical shape to be closely copied, but is also a pattern for exact imitation in conduct or character: They took their leader as a model.
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Example Sentences

You want it to cover your shoulders and fall a bit below your toes for ideal weight distribution.

The ideal chair should be about 16 to 21 inches above the ground, and your arms should rest comfortably while your feet remain flat.

On one hand, the year-long shutdown, with less rushing around, has provided ideal circumstances for serious chats.

Makridis and Wu’s research underscores how the ongoing erosion of social trust in the United States created an ideal environment for a pandemic to flourish.

The climate in Death Valley is ideal during the winter months.

White and Crandall agree that low-intensity workouts are ideal.

The land at Easter Elchies was the ideal place for Reid to set up his business.

I reached out with heartfelt pleas, and spoke to people that I felt were ideal—and I was right in most cases.

However the American sexual ideal is intimately related to a certain idea of masculinity.

The problem comes at this point because the liquid loses its potency within an hour even in ideal conditions.

I believe that these are ideal characters constructed from still more ancient legends and traditions.

That title of Castile might become the cherished ideal in the Philippines if it were valued as I desire.

It makes one believe that fundamentally the country must be sound—that unswerving fidelity to an ideal.

The ideal is not a thing to be clutched at, or taken by force, but all of the conditions—every tittle—must be fulfilled.

Awe stole upon him; he felt himself included in the great ideal of this older day.


Related Words




ideaisticideal crystal