Definition of idolatry in English:



mass noun
  • 1The worship of idols.

    • ‘Mosaic law also makes idolatry or the worship of other gods a capital offense, along with a host of other crimes, including adultery, cursing one's parents, and sodomy.’
    • ‘Celebrity is seen not only as a pagan form of religious idolatry but also as the very possibility of culture, cult, and community.’
    • ‘The Holiness Code does not only deal with ritual sins or with idolatry.’
    • ‘They went against God and all His teachings, reverting to idolatry and worshipping a golden calf.’
    • ‘To address a creature as the ‘All Holy One’ is consummate blasphemy and idolatry.’
    • ‘How has pagan idolatry, the very same sort of idolatry that Paul encountered in Ephesus, corrupted much of the Christian-professing world?’
    • ‘Sikhism was founded in the Punjab region in South Asia in the early sixteenth century and is a monotheistic religion that rejects idolatry and divisions in society.’
    • ‘It is the difference between pagan idolatry and true worship of our Creator and Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ.’
    • ‘The sin of idolatry may lie less in the actual action of worshipping a foreign god than in the denial of the universals that such worship implies.’
    • ‘He preached the worship of the One Supreme Being, deprecating idolatry and superstitious beliefs and observances.’
    • ‘They lapsed into a form of Egyptian idolatry with the worship of the golden calf.’
    • ‘Distinctions in moral values are valid for God and for us: truth is to be valued over falsehood, faithfulness over infidelity, true worship over idolatry, and so on.’
    • ‘In the eighteenth century the goal of mission was seen primarily as conversion from idolatry and religious perversion.’
    • ‘We are commanded against idolatry precisely because idolatry is the freezing of God in a static image, a violation of the imagination, a limiting of possibility.’
    • ‘The second commandment also relates to the problem of idolatry and warns us against worship of the true God in a false way.’
    • ‘Wandering amongst the statues, the irony was not lost on me that I was spending my celebration of the victory of God over idolatry, surrounded by idols.’
    • ‘No matter what form religion may take, idolatry is the foundation of its worship.’
    • ‘Worship in truth is the antidote to idolatry, while worship in spirit is the antidote to hypocrisy.’
    • ‘Christians are accustomed to distinguish the worship of false gods - that is, idolatry - from the worship of the true God.’
    • ‘Idols are worshipped by various religions, while idolatry is blasphemy to others.’
    idol worship, idolatrism, fetishism, iconolatry, icon worship
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Extreme admiration, love, or reverence for something or someone.
      ‘we must not allow our idolatry of art to obscure issues of political significance’
      • ‘The focus of my art is to target specific errors and idolatries of humanity, revealing their fallacies through scriptural references.’
      • ‘It was an idolatry that had become one of society's assumed norms.’
      • ‘Against this command the human mind is always dashing itself, and in one shape or another idolatry is the ruling religion of mankind.’
      • ‘Condemning the ‘modern idolatry of lust, greed, power and pride’, Dr Hope said a safe and secure world would only result if humans engaged in the challenge to look again at the way we live our lives.’
      • ‘But these slightly prejudiced persons generally have idolatries and superstitions of their own, particularly idolatries and superstitions in connection with celebrated people.’
      • ‘But if we seek direct power and social control, we will, ironically, be assimilated into the very idolatries of wealth, status, and power we seek to change.’
      • ‘Women, especially, but men too, are often tempted by a kind of self-immolating romance that is much closer to idolatry than to real love.’
      • ‘It is the idolatry of people which can give us a sense of reflected importance or purpose.’
      • ‘That's where idolatry ends and a crime of love, so to say, begins.’
      • ‘Accusing admirers of science of idolatry is worse.’
      • ‘By dead works we are to understand idolatry, inordinate lusts of the flesh, covetness and ambition.’
      • ‘NME went so far as to imply that you'd better catch The Vines before frontman Craig Nicholls took his Kurt Cobain idolatry to its logical extreme.’
      • ‘If the artist makes of his art the end of his life, his end becomes idolatry - as the quotation above from Baudelaire indicates.’
      • ‘I've been immersed in Russian literature, music, film and even painting since my teens; and I admire the Russian theatre only this side of idolatry.’
      • ‘There are other idolatries also in the modern world.’
      • ‘He worried that his older brother, whom he loved nearly unto the point of idolatry, would meet that same fate.’
      • ‘The idolatry of some older people for the Queen Mother strikes me as even more bizarre than that for the Spice Girls among teenagers.’
      • ‘Through this point of view, Brontë herself speaks to the readers and warns of idolatry.’
      • ‘But without a literal idol or incense to burn, what does sports idolatry look like for the one who says he believes Jesus is Lord?’
      • ‘During the vulnerability of adolescence, a young music fan's love for a musician can quickly transpire into idolatry.’
      idolization, idolizing, fetishization, worship, worshipping, adulation, adoration, adoring, reverence, glorification, lionizing, lionization, love, admiration, loving, admiring, hero-worshipping
      View synonyms


Middle English: from Old French idolatrie, based on Greek eidōlolatreia, from eidōlon (see idol) + -latreia ‘worship’.