- any conception existing in the mind as a result of mental understanding, awareness, or activity.
- a thought, conception, or notion: That is an excellent idea.
- an impression: He gave me a general idea of how he plans to run the department.
- an opinion, view, or belief: His ideas on raising children are certainly strange.
- a plan of action; an intention: the idea of becoming an engineer.
- a groundless supposition; fantasy.
- 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.
- Music. a theme, phrase, or figure.
- a likeness.
- a mental image.
Origin of idea
SynonymsSee more synonyms for idea on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for ideas
Submission is less a novel of ideas than a political book, and of the most subversive kind.Houellebecq’s Incendiary Novel Imagines France With a Muslim President
January 9, 2015
In conversation, her ideas emerge at a roiling boil that often takes on a momentum of its own.Daphne Merkin on Lena Dunham, Book Criticism, and Self-Examination
December 26, 2014
We were on her roof talking and trying to come up with ideas, to think of alternatives to renting a studio.#Setinthestreet: Your Street Corner Is Their Art Project
December 24, 2014
Right now, former Virginia Senator James Webb may prove the best vehicle for dino-Democratic ideas.Time to Bring Back the Truman Democrats
December 21, 2014
Hitchcock identifies the good stuff quickly, and his own ideas are almost always right.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
There is hardly an exception to this in the whole history of Caucasian ideas.The Conquest of Fear
It might not meet your ideas of what a spot so named should be.
Her husband had ideas on that subject, and had imbued her with them.
The sinister association of ideas made Mary shudder, but she said no more.Within the Law
He was trying to fit his own ideas of luxury to a garden hose and a city street.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
- 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
- a private mental object, regarded as the immediate object of thought or perception
- 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
- another name for Form
Word Origin and History for ideas
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."
- Something, such as a thought or conception, that potentially or actually exists in the mind as a product of mental activity.
Idioms and Phrases with ideas
see bright idea; put ideas in someone's head; what's the idea.