Definition of iconic in English:



  • 1Relating to or of the nature of an icon.

    ‘he became an iconic figure for directors around the world’
    • ‘Paradoxically, though, it is difficult to envisage a fully iconic sign.’
    • ‘To many fans of Canadian music, the name Michael Burgess evokes an appreciation bordering the iconic.’
    • ‘Monroe creates an iconic figure as Sugar and Tony Curtis's impersonation of Cary Grant is a total delight.’
    • ‘And the famous shopfront cover design has disappointingly been replaced with something less iconic.’
    • ‘Contrary to what is often believed, Britain possessed many such iconic constitutional and legal documents in the past.’
    • ‘The credit titles are a work of art, emphasising the iconic nature of this black hero.’
    • ‘Architects' drawings of a huge, iconic building, featuring a turf roof planted with herbs, are due to be released today.’
    • ‘Chapman's life has been threatened many times for killing one of pop music's most iconic figures.’
    • ‘Indeed, some of them commemorate iconic figures from a club's history.’
    • ‘Many of the photographs published by Life have become iconic in American history.’
    • ‘The show's stars have similarly been elevated to iconic status.’
    • ‘You must be aware that you are an iconic figure in American letters.’
    • ‘Martin Luther King Jr. and Che Guevara had achieved the iconic status of martyrs by this date.’
    • ‘After all, from The Godfather to The Sopranos the gangster has become the iconic figure in American popular culture.’
    • ‘Where is the iconic building of the 20th century in the Lake District?’
    • ‘In this sense he's an heir apparent to iconic figures like Dylan or Johnny Cash.’
    • ‘The elusive unique selling point would also provide the city with an iconic image that would be used to brand Southampton for visitors.’
    • ‘The intimacy of signifier and signified in the iconic sign negates the distance which defines phonetic language.’
    • ‘Old friends came from many parts of the country to pay their respects and remember one of the iconic figures of the showband era.’
  • 2(of a classical Greek statue) depicting a victorious athlete in a conventional style.

    • ‘Though only the victor who had won three times was allowed an iconic statue.’
    • ‘According to Pliny, these received 'iconic' statues in which 'the likeness was fashioned from the limbs of the athletes themselves'.’


Mid 17th century: from Latin iconicus, from Greek eikonikos, from eikōn likeness, image.