Definition of idolatry in US English:



  • 1The worship of idols.

    • ‘They lapsed into a form of Egyptian idolatry with the worship of the golden calf.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He preached the worship of the One Supreme Being, deprecating idolatry and superstitious beliefs and observances.’
    • ‘Celebrity is seen not only as a pagan form of religious idolatry but also as the very possibility of culture, cult, and community.’
    • ‘Worship in truth is the antidote to idolatry, while worship in spirit is the antidote to hypocrisy.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘How has pagan idolatry, the very same sort of idolatry that Paul encountered in Ephesus, corrupted much of the Christian-professing world?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Holiness Code does not only deal with ritual sins or with idolatry.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They went against God and all His teachings, reverting to idolatry and worshipping a golden calf.’
    • ‘No matter what form religion may take, idolatry is the foundation of its worship.’
    • ‘Idols are worshipped by various religions, while idolatry is blasphemy to others.’
    • ‘In the eighteenth century the goal of mission was seen primarily as conversion from idolatry and religious perversion.’
    • ‘Christians are accustomed to distinguish the worship of false gods - that is, idolatry - from the worship of the true God.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The second commandment also relates to the problem of idolatry and warns us against worship of the true God in a false way.’
    • ‘To address a creature as the ‘All Holy One’ is consummate blasphemy and idolatry.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is the difference between pagan idolatry and true worship of our Creator and Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ.’
    idol worship, idolatrism, fetishism, iconolatry, icon worship
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    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’
      • ‘It is the idolatry of people which can give us a sense of reflected importance or purpose.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He worried that his older brother, whom he loved nearly unto the point of idolatry, would meet that same fate.’
      • ‘There are other idolatries also in the modern world.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Through this point of view, Brontë herself speaks to the readers and warns of idolatry.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘That's where idolatry ends and a crime of love, so to say, begins.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘If the artist makes of his art the end of his life, his end becomes idolatry - as the quotation above from Baudelaire indicates.’
      • ‘But these slightly prejudiced persons generally have idolatries and superstitions of their own, particularly idolatries and superstitions in connection with celebrated people.’
      • ‘Against this command the human mind is always dashing itself, and in one shape or another idolatry is the ruling religion of mankind.’
      • ‘By dead works we are to understand idolatry, inordinate lusts of the flesh, covetness and ambition.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘During the vulnerability of adolescence, a young music fan's love for a musician can quickly transpire into idolatry.’
      • ‘The idolatry of some older people for the Queen Mother strikes me as even more bizarre than that for the Spice Girls among teenagers.’
      • ‘Accusing admirers of science of idolatry is worse.’
      idolization, idolizing, fetishization, worship, worshipping, adulation, adoration, adoring, reverence, glorification, lionizing, lionization, love, admiration, loving, admiring, hero-worshipping
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Middle English: from Old French idolatrie, based on Greek eidōlolatreia, from eidōlon (see idol) + -latreia ‘worship’.