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iconoclast

[ahy-kon-uh-klast] /aɪˈkɒn əˌklæst/
noun
1.
a person who attacks cherished beliefs, traditional institutions, etc., as being based on error or superstition.
2.
a breaker or destroyer of images, especially those set up for religious veneration.
Origin
1590-1600
1590-1600; < Medieval Latin īconoclastēs < Medieval Greek eikonoklástēs, equivalent to Greek eikono- icono- + -klastēs breaker, equivalent to klas- (variant stem of klân to break) + -tēs agent noun suffix
Related forms
iconoclastic, adjective
Synonyms
2. nonconformist, rebel, dissenter, radical.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for iconoclast
  • Equal parts icon and iconoclast, he shocked respectable opinion even as he seemed to embody the contradictory moods of his era.
  • Even a cursory review of the accomplishments of this scientific maverick and iconoclast is a breath-taking endeavor.
  • Not the gloomiest iconoclast expects ever to see the supply of wood from the old tree.
British Dictionary definitions for iconoclast

iconoclast

/aɪˈkɒnəˌklæst/
noun
1.
a person who attacks established or traditional concepts, principles, laws, etc
2.
  1. a destroyer of religious images or sacred objects
  2. an adherent of the heretical movement within the Greek Orthodox Church from 725 to 842 ad, which aimed at the destruction of icons and religious images
Derived Forms
iconoclastic, adjective
iconoclastically, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin iconoclastes, from Late Greek eikonoklastes, from eikōn icon + klastēs breaker
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 iconoclast
n.

"breaker or destroyer of images," 1590s, from French iconoclaste and directly from Medieval Latin iconoclastes, from Late Greek eikonoklastes, from eikon (genitive eikonos) "image" + klastes "breaker," from klas- past tense stem of klan "to break" (see clastic). Originally those in the Eastern Church in 8c. and 9c. whose mobs of followers destroyed icons and other religious objects on the grounds that they were idols. Applied to 16c.-17c. Protestants in Netherlands who vandalized former Catholic churches on similar grounds. Extended sense of "one who attacks orthodox beliefs or institutions" is first attested 1842.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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