Definition of idol in US English:



  • 1An image or representation of a god used as an object of worship.

    • ‘In theological terms this led into seeing it as defined through the worship of God and idols.’
    • ‘Each village has its own goddess or Gramadevata, often in the form of an idol worshipped under a sacred tree.’
    • ‘Rashi suggests that Rachel stole Laban's idols to prevent her father from worshiping them.’
    • ‘They destroyed an idol to a god that was leading the world into immorality.’
    • ‘They even went to heathen temples, worshipped idols, and called to the Devil for help.’
    • ‘The pagan deities' idols Baal and Ashera, on the other hand, had no such scruples.’
    • ‘What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?’
    • ‘My mind sped from the first commandment to Paul's advice about eating food offered to idols.’
    • ‘Some of the children of Israel had begun to stray after the daughters of Moav and to worship their idols.’
    • ‘Some worship idols, foolishly ignorant; others put trust in the tombs of the dead.’
    • ‘Paul himself offers a good example in his treatment of eating meats sacrificed to idols.’
    • ‘Aryans on the other hand had no idols and worshipped nature, as human forms that resided in the heavens.’
    • ‘These were, we must remember, unbelieving Gentiles, worshipers of idols and knew very little of the Jewish religion.’
    • ‘Israel had more heathen kings and again the people began to worship idols.’
    • ‘Make this city one of peace and security and preserve me and my sons from worshipping idols.’
    • ‘This is based on Isaiah's notion that the idols represented the purported power of the nations.’
    • ‘Some people are so weak that they are afraid of eating things sacrificed to idols.’
    • ‘What we believe about Genesis is not an issue like eating meat sacrificed to idols.’
    • ‘Then we have a history of divinity bestowed on idols, rivers and trees by men.’
    • ‘Ironically, Abraham's father, Terach, had made his living selling idols of various gods.’
    icon, god, image, likeness, fetish, totem, statue, figure, figurine, doll, carving
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    1. 1.1 A person or thing that is greatly admired, loved, or revered.
      ‘movie idol Robert Redford’
      • ‘In the Arab world many of these people are literary celebrities, film idols, and media stars.’
      • ‘I know that Dad was an idol to millions who grew up loving his music and his ideals.’
      • ‘He just couldn't believe that he would in fact become a big rock star, just like his idols.’
      • ‘A vegetarian socialist with great personal charm and a definite way with the love poem, you remain an idol for female readers.’
      • ‘Wilder grew up loving Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, but his great idol was famed director Ernst Lubitsch.’
      • ‘The Presley posse had gathered in York to celebrate and commemorate their idol, who died 25 years ago today.’
      • ‘What friend, dignitary, hero, sports idol, movie star, etc. might we ask over to eat with us?’
      • ‘It would seem the British public would prefer to admire their idols from afar but next door is just a little too close for comfort.’
      • ‘Up to five children will impersonate their favourite rock and pop idols live on stage in front of an audience with special voting keypads.’
      • ‘For many adolescents, particularly young women, their hearts really do belong to singing and movie idols.’
      • ‘Raising the subject is more racist than people simply choosing their favourite idol.’
      • ‘We change our tastes and opinions with the same blinding speed that TV can make you famous or the press turn on idols they once loved.’
      • ‘IT'S taken him 30 years, but Al Pacino finally seems comfortable with his status as a movie idol.’
      • ‘But he was also a keen footballer who admired his idols Manchester United and who enjoyed a kickabout with friends.’
      • ‘He had the look of a former idol or tennis star with his medium build, blue eyes, and short wavy blonde hair.’
      • ‘After all no-one needs past heroes when there are new idols to laud.’
      • ‘Now the aristos and film idols have been joined by sports stars.’
      • ‘But he will know that the Victorians had their own idols, especially among the heroes and martyrs of the Empire.’
      • ‘Now, she dreams of becoming a big name producer emulating her idol, hip-hop star Kanye West.’
      • ‘Football watchdogs are hoping to cut the cost for soccer fans desperate to keep up with their soccer idols.’
      hero, heroine, star, superstar, icon, celebrity, celebutante
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Middle English: from Old French idole, from Latin idolum ‘image, form’ (used in ecclesiastical Latin in the sense ‘idol’), from Greek eidōlon, from eidos ‘form, shape’.