Definition of idolater in US English:



  • A person who worships an idol or idols.

    • ‘Among such passageways is the imitation of idolaters or of the followers of other religions who have exaggerated respect for their saints.’
    • ‘It grew up in the effort to conquer Canaan against what we thought was an ocean of idolaters and the effort to survive the Roman Empire.’
    • ‘On the other hand, idolaters and would-be gods take ‘fire’ literally, and use it for the destruction of others.’
    • ‘They will not be among the Egyptian idolaters in the future; they will be among the immoral Canaanites.’
    • ‘They were not idolaters as some religiously intolerant groups might suggest; no learned people actually worshipped the sun as God literally.’
    • ‘Notice that Wright contrasts the people of God being vindicated with idolaters being shown to be wrong.’
    • ‘When idolatry began, the first idolaters knew that Hashem existed, that He was the Creator of the world, and all they were doing was praising His creations, the sun and the moon, as intermediaries.’
    • ‘Believers, know that the idolaters are unclean.’
    • ‘That the idolater became an idol himself is, as ever, the sadder story.’
    • ‘In other words, I would say that idolatry not only dishonors God and demeans the idolater; it ultimately leads to the destruction of the hapless idol itself.’
    • ‘Apparently, idolaters could be redeemed, but informers could not.’
    • ‘According to this savant, all existing archaeological evidence should be destroyed and a sign installed in its place: ‘Behold the fate of idolaters!’’
    • ‘Furthermore, rare are the religious bodies today that exclude thieves or greedy persons, or drunkards or revilers or robbers or even adulterers or prostitutes, or idolaters from the kingdom of God and the precincts of the sanctuary.’
    • ‘In their view, many people who claim to be monotheists are actually polytheists and idolaters.’
    • ‘In the eyes of idolaters, the idol was seen neither as the source of their existence nor as the source of their well-being.’
    • ‘But the grounding in verses 19 and 20 for the assertion that the idolaters under discussion were without excuse, that they knew God through the things God has made, clearly shows that Gentiles are in view.’
    • ‘We hope that the day will come when Christianity will give up everything it inherited from idolaters and only that will remain which Judaism bequeathed to it and which was purified and refined by the loftiest Greek and new thought.’
    • ‘If we want to stop short of being idolaters, how can we advance the analysis and criticism of all such political proposals in congregational locales?’
    • ‘Some people would be horrified to think of themselves as idolaters, yet their behavior may manifest a lack of faith and trust in God.’
    • ‘The nations amongst whom they were exiled were like the unclean idolaters of old, whose blandishments and evil influence must at all costs be resisted, until such time as God in His infinite mercy chose to redeem and vindicate His people.’
    dissident, dissenter, nonconformist, unorthodox thinker, heterodox thinker, apostate, freethinker, iconoclast, schismatic, renegade
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Late Middle English: from Old French idolatre, based on Greek eidōlolatrēs, from eidōlon (see idol) + -latrēs ‘worshipper’.