What word or phrase does your mother always say?


[ahyd-l] /ˈaɪd l/
a poem or prose composition, usually describing pastoral scenes or events or any charmingly simple episode, appealing incident, or the like.
a simple descriptive or narrative piece in verse or prose.
material suitable for such a work.
an episode or scene of idyllic charm.
a brief or inconsequential romantic affair.
Music. a composition, usually instrumental, of a pastoral or sentimental character.
Also, idyl.
Origin of idyll
1595-1605; < Latin īdyllium < Greek eidýllion short pastoral poem, equivalent to eíd(os) form + -yllion diminutive suffix
Can be confused
idle, idol, idyll (see synonym study at idle) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for idyll
  • But the appearance of a pastoral idyll conceals a poverty trap.
  • Until then, the movie has pretended to be a romantic idyll.
  • My first few years in that department were, if nothing else, an idyll.
  • There is no longer any pastoral idyll untouched by the speed of things.
  • We can become invested in the idea that childhood is a long, uninterrupted, and joyful idyll.
  • Then the attendants shoveled the rubbish through the door on the other end into the pastoral idyll outside.
  • But the idyll contains dark secrets, as a potter whom the family takes in for a time discovers.
  • So this is a scene from nature, but it is no pastoral idyll.
  • It had taken her to the age of forty to achieve domestic tranquility, but there was still a flaw in this idyll.
  • Moreover, he derived two bonuses from his island idyll.
British Dictionary definitions for idyll


a poem or prose work describing an idealized rural life, pastoral scenes, etc
any simple narrative or descriptive piece in poetry or prose
a charming or picturesque scene or event
a piece of music with a calm or pastoral character
Word Origin
C17: from Latin īdyllium, from Greek eidullion, from eidos shape, (literary) form
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for idyll

also idyl, c.1600, "picturesque pastoral poem," from Latin idyllium, from Greek eidyllion "short, descriptive poem, usually of rustic or pastoral type," literally "a little picture," diminutive of eidos "form" (see -oid).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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