- 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.
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Origin of idea
synonym study for idea
historical usage 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 ).
OTHER WORDS FROM ideai·de·a·less, adjectivepre·i·de·a, nounsub·i·de·a, noun
Example sentences from the Web for idea
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|Pierre Assouline|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
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|Mindy Farabee|December 26, 2014|DAILY BEAST
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|James Joiner|December 24, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Right now, former Virginia Senator James Webb may prove the best vehicle for dino-Democratic ideas.
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|David Freeman|December 13, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The forbidden produce of our ideas was favoured even by those whose charge was to exclude it.History of the Girondists, Volume I|Alphonse de Lamartine
What train of ideas, for example, is suggested to the average reader by the Roll-Chair Company?
He expatiated with great profoundness and fertility of ideas, on the uses to which a faculty like this might be employed.Memoirs of Carwin the Biloquist|Charles Brockden Brown
The letters with which Mr. Reeve has favored me give glimpses of how ideas and calls came to her sometimes.Harriet Martineau|Florence Fenwick Miller
As a contribution to that change of ideas and of values these pages are offered.The Fruits of Victory|Norman Angell
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
Derived forms of ideaidealess, adjective
Word Origin for idea
usage for idea
British Dictionary definitions for idea (2 of 2)
Medical definitions for idea
Idioms and Phrases with idea
see bright idea; put ideas in someone's head; what's the idea.