- an image of a deity other than God.
- the deity itself.
Origin of idol
synonym study for idol
Words nearby idol
What does idol mean?
The word idol can also refer to the deity or god that is being worshipped.
The worship of such an idol is sometimes called idolatry (or idol worship) and the people who do it can be called idolaters. The adjective idolatrous can be used to describe idolaters or their practices.
This sense of idol and its related terms are typically used in a negative, judgmental way, implying that the god that the idol represents is not actually real and that such worship is wrong or sinful. In this way, an idol is sometimes called a false idol.
A well-known example of an idol mentioned in a story in the Bible is the statue of a golden calf that the Israelites were said to have made while Moses was away receiving the Ten Commandments (which prohibit the worship of idols or “graven images”).
Sometimes, idol is used in a metaphorical way to compare something to an object of religious devotion and worship, as in Money has become her idol. This sense of the word is also used in a critical way.
Idol is also commonly used in a figurative way to refer to a person, especially a famous celebrity such as a pop singer, whom someone treats with extreme admiration and devotion. The word sometimes implies that such devotion is excessive, likening it to religious worship. The term teen idol refers to a star who is the subject of such devotion and adoration among teens (teen idols are often young but they may or may not be teens themselves).
To be a fan of someone in this way is to idolize them (or, in more modern terms, to stan them). The words idolatry, idolater, and idolatrous can be used in this context, but they are much more commonly used in a religious context.
Example: The trouble with having idols is that you start to model your behavior on them while ignoring their faults.
Where does idol come from?
The first records of the word idol come from the 1200s. It comes from the Greek eídōlon, meaning “image,” from eîdos, meaning “shape and form.”
Although the word idol can refer to a deity being worshipped, it typically refers to a physical object or image that has been made to represent the deity. Some religions prohibit any such likenesses of a deity or religious figure, considering them to be a form of idolatry.
Today, the most common use of the word idol is probably to refer to stars with huge fan bases. The word is used this way in the name of American Idol, a popular singing contest show based on the idea of finding an up-and-coming singer who will become a new superstar.
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What are some other forms related to idol?
- idolatry (noun)
- idolater (noun)
- idolatrous (adjective)
- idolize (verb)
- idolism (noun)
- idolatrize (verb)
What are some synonyms for idol?
What are some words that share a root or word element with idol?
What are some words that often get used in discussing idol?
What are some words idol may be commonly confused with?
How is idol used in real life?
In a religious context, idol is usually used in a judgmental way. In pop culture, it refers to a star whose fans show an almost religious devotion.
Gospel: Everyone laughs when you ask if they worship an idol. But if your life centers on money, then it has become an idol. It's your God.
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) September 18, 2016
These Are The Top “Hot 100 K-Pop Idols” Of 2020, Chosen By Fanshttps://t.co/wPxWXuVQoA
— Koreaboo (@Koreaboo) December 21, 2020
— Jessica Skropanic (@RS_JSkropanic) December 17, 2020
Try using idol!
Is idol used correctly in the following sentence?
Elvis Presley became a rock-’n-roll idol in the 1950s.
How to use idol in a sentence
People made representational art—cave paintings of horses, ivory goddesses, lion-headed idols, showing artistic flair and imagination.When Did We Become Fully Human? What Fossils and DNA Tell Us About the Evolution of Modern Intelligence|Nick Longrich|October 18, 2020|Singularity Hub
“You don’t age out of your passion,” Radha Blank shared with Robert Townsend, her filmmaking idol whose Hollywood Shuffle inspired her, during their spotlight discussion for the Urbanworld Film Festival last month.
In short, they will influence their followers – who follow suggestions and advice from their idols.Post-COVID-19 strategy to restore your social media reputation|Birbahadur Kathayat|September 30, 2020|Search Engine Watch
Working for his idol, though life-changing, is far from easy.
Second baseman Isan Diaz has a swing that resembles his idol Robinson Cano.The Dodgers Lead Our National League Predictions, But Don’t Count Out The Nats Or … Reds?|Travis Sawchik|July 22, 2020|FiveThirtyEight
Ratings for talent competitions like Idol, once viewership juggernauts, are plummeting.
The other thing about Idol was that it really was a star-maker at first.
The standard bearers of reality TV—American Idol, Dancing With the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance—are aging.
These are men and women who want to retain faith in an idol, who just want to forgive and forget.Why We're So Hard on Janay Rice and Celebrity Survivors of Abuse|Amy Zimmerman|September 15, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Pryor, a second-generation senator, is holding off a fierce challenge from conservative idol Tom Cotton.Just Tuning Into The Mid-Terms? Here are Five, Weird, Unpredictable Senate Races to Watch|Ben Jacobs|September 1, 2014|DAILY BEAST
She thought the idol would consume them, for bachelor cooking was never intended for bachelor invalids.The Soldier of the Valley|Nelson Lloyd
He hath chosen strong wood, and that will not rot: the skilful workman seeketh how he may set up an idol that may not be moved.
If a nation hath changed their gods, and indeed they are not gods: but my people have changed their glory into an idol.
I am due to attend at twelve-forty-five in the state temple, where we sanctify some new idol.Kipling Stories and Poems Every Child Should Know, Book II|Rudyard Kipling
Buzot adored Madame Roland as the inspiration of his mind, as the idol of his worship.Madame Roland, Makers of History|John S. C. Abbott