9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ahy-kon] /ˈaɪ kɒn/
a picture, image, or other representation.
Eastern Church. a representation of some sacred personage, as Christ or a saint or angel, painted usually on a wood surface and venerated itself as sacred.
a sign or representation that stands for its object by virtue of a resemblance or analogy to it.
Computers. a picture or symbol that appears on a monitor and is used to represent a command, as a file drawer to represent filing.
Semiotics. a sign or representation that stands for its object by virtue of a resemblance or analogy to it.
Also, eikon, ikon (for defs 1, 2).
Origin of icon
1565-75; < Latin < Greek eikṓn likeness, image, figure
Can be confused
icon, ikon.
2. See image. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for icons
  • The canonical winter icons, stellar snow crystals are thin plates of ice with six main arms, or branches.
  • In sum, there should be a little something for everyone in my list of alternative icons.
  • It is not too much to say that their media producers actually create and sustain them as pop-culture icons.
  • It's interesting to see how food advertising icons have morphed through the years.
  • Multiple animal icons might represent alliances or marriage ties between various groups.
  • File icons start off scattered across the flat surface.
  • Or, option to show large icons for visually impaired.
  • For the few times that the driver needed to glance at the screen, the apps would feature big icons and easy-to-read text.
  • There are no windows or folders, but rather an interface heavily reliant on pictographic icons.
  • After a few years of seeing these icons on multiple appliances, they become second nature to us.
British Dictionary definitions for icons


Also ikon. a representation of Christ, the Virgin Mary, or a saint, esp one painted in oil on a wooden panel, depicted in a traditional Byzantine style and venerated in the Eastern Church
an image, picture, representation, etc
a person or thing regarded as a symbol of a belief, nation, community, or cultural movement
a person regarded as a sex symbol or as a symbol of the latest fashion trends
a pictorial representation of a facility available on a computer system, that enables the facility to be activated by means of a screen cursor rather than by a textual instruction
Word Origin
C16: from Latin, from Greek eikōn image, from eikenai to be like
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 icons



also ikon, 1570s, "image, figure, representation," from Late Latin icon, from Greek eikon "likeness, image, portrait," related to eikenai "be like, look like," of unknown origin. Eastern Church sense is attested from 1833. Computing sense first recorded 1982.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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icons in Science
In a graphical user interface, a picture on the screen that represents a specific file, directory, window, or program. Clicking on an icon will start the associated program or open the associated file, directory, or window.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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icons in Culture

icon definition

An image used in worship in the Eastern Orthodox Church and among other Christians of similar traditions. Icons depict Jesus, Mary, and the saints, usually in a severe, symbolic, nonrealistic way.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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