Definitions

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

  • noun A short poem or prose piece depicting a rural or pastoral scene, usually in idealized terms.
  • noun A narrative poem treating an epic or romantic theme.
  • noun A scene or event of a simple and tranquil nature.
  • noun A carefree episode or experience.
  • noun A romantic interlude.

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

  • noun Any poem or short written piece composed in the style of Theocritus's short pastoral poems, the Idylls.
  • noun An episode or series of events or circumstances of pastoral or rural simplicity, fit for an idyll; a carefree or lighthearted experience.
  • noun music A composition, usually instrumental, of a pastoral or sentimental character, e.g. Siegfried Idyll by Richard Wagner.

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

  • noun an episode of such pastoral or romantic charm as to qualify as the subject of a poetic idyll
  • noun a musical composition that evokes rural life
  • noun a short poem descriptive of rural or pastoral life

Etymologies

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

[Latin īdyllium, from Greek eidullion, diminutive of eidos, form, figure; see weid- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin īdyllium, from Ancient Greek εἰδύλλιον (eidullion), from diminutive of εἶδος (eidos, "form, shape").

Examples

  • In so far as the idyll is a signifier to which a real world referent can be attached -- pre-industrial culture, medieval society, etc. -- we might be dubious of a restoration that is essentially an act of validation.

    Narrative Grammars

  • In so far as the idyll is a signifier to which a real world referent can be attached -- pre-industrial culture, medieval society, etc. -- we might be dubious of a restoration that is essentially an act of validation.

    Archive 2008-01-01

  • However much we can all appreciate the arguments in favour of renting, most of us still hanker after the long-term idyll of bricks, mortar and a white picket fence.

    Are we better off renting?

  • But the idyll is soon broken when the past rushes back to threaten the Amnipours once more, and the lives they left behind in revolution-era Iran bleed into the present.

    Pomegranate Soup: Summary and book reviews of Pomegranate Soup by Marsha Mehran.

  • However, the tourist idyll is a façade and, in fact, Jelinek depicts a camouflaged dead landscape where neither the past nor the future exists.

    Elfriede Jelinek: Provocation as the Breath of Life

  • The idyll is very short lived, however, and paradise is lost when Inkle returns with Yarico to Jamaica where he attempts to sell her into slavery.

    Savage Boundaries

  • Astrid worships her mother and cherishes their private world full of ritual and mystery-but their idyll is shattered when Astrid's mother falls apart over a lover.

    White Oleander: Summary and book reviews of White Oleander by Janet Fitch.

  • But the idyll is short lived as Hanna disappears from his life, only to resurface in a courtroom where she is being tried for iniquitous past which she had hidden from him.

    The Times of India

  • But the idyll is short lived as Hanna disappears from his life, only to resurface in a courtroom where she is being tried for iniquitous past which she had hidden from him.

    The Times of India

  • This idyll is short-lived as the elephantine squall of S.O.S. rears its panicky, hard-riffing head.

    The Line Of Best Fit

Comments

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  • If I had been so lucky as to have a steady brother

    Who could talk to me as we are talking now to one another –

    Who could give me good advice when he discovered I was erring

    (Which is just the very favour which on you I am conferring),

    My existence would have made a rather interesting idyll,

    And I might have lived and died a very decent indiwiddle.

    This particularly rapid, unintelligible patter

    Isn't generally heard, and if it is it doesn't matter!

    -- W.S. Gilbert, Ruddigore

    August 21, 2008