Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An image used as an object of worship.
  • noun A false god.
  • noun One that is adored, often blindly or excessively.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To worship; make an idol of; idolize.
  • noun An image, effigy, figure, or likeness of anything.
  • noun An image or similitude of a divinity; a representation or symbol of a deity made, consecrated, or used as an object of worship.
  • noun Hence — A person on whom or a thing on which the affections are strongly set; any object of absorbing devotion other than God himself.
  • noun A phantom or figment of the brain; a false or misleading notion or conception; an erroneous persuasion; a fallacy. See idolon.
  • noun Bacon divided the fallacies or misconceptions that beset mankind into four classes:
  • noun idols of the tribe (idola tribus), fallacies incident to humanity in general;
  • noun idols of the den (idola specus), misapprehensions traceable to the peculiar mental or bodily constitution of the individual;
  • noun idols of the market-place (idola fori), errors due to the influence of mere words or phrases;
  • noun idols of the theatre (idola theatri), errors due to the prevalence of imperfect philosophic systems or misleading methods of demonstration.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete An image or representation of anything.
  • noun An image of a divinity; a representation or symbol of a deity or any other being or thing, made or used as an object of worship; a similitude of a false god.
  • noun That on which the affections are strongly (often excessively) set; an object of passionate devotion; a person or thing greatly loved or adored.
  • noun A false notion or conception; a fallacy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A graven image or representation of anything that is revered, or believed to convey spiritual power.
  • noun A cultural icon, or especially popular person.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an ideal instance; a perfect embodiment of a concept
  • noun someone who is adored blindly and excessively
  • noun a material effigy that is worshipped

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French idole, from Late Latin īdōlum, from Greek eidōlon, phantom, idol, from eidos, form; see weid- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek εἴδωλον (eidōlon, "image, idol"), from εἶδος (eidos, "form").

Examples

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