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ideal

[ahy-dee-uh l, ahy-deel] /aɪˈdi əl, aɪˈdil/
noun
1.
a conception of something in its perfection.
2.
a standard of perfection or excellence.
3.
a person or thing conceived as embodying such a conception or conforming to such a standard, and taken as a model for imitation:
Thomas Jefferson was his ideal.
4.
an ultimate object or aim of endeavor, especially one of high or noble character:
He refuses to compromise any of his ideals.
5.
something that exists only in the imagination:
To achieve the ideal is almost hopeless.
6.
Mathematics. a subring of a ring, any element of which when multiplied by any element of the ring results in an element of the subring.
adjective
7.
conceived as constituting a standard of perfection or excellence:
ideal beauty.
8.
regarded as perfect of its kind:
an ideal spot for a home.
9.
existing only in the imagination; not real or actual:
Nature is real; beauty is ideal.
10.
advantageous; excellent; best:
It would be ideal if she could accompany us as she knows the way.
11.
based upon an ideal or ideals:
the ideal theory of numbers.
12.
Philosophy.
  1. pertaining to a possible state of affairs considered as highly desirable.
  2. pertaining to or of the nature of idealism.
Origin
1605-1615
1605-15; < Late Latin ideālis. See idea, -al1
Related forms
idealness, noun
quasi-ideal, adjective
quasi-ideally, adverb
subideal, adjective, noun
superideal, adjective, noun
superideally, adverb
unideal, adjective
Synonyms
1, 2. epitome. Ideal, example, model refer to something considered as a standard to strive toward or something considered worthy of imitation. An ideal is a concept or standard of perfection, existing merely as an image in the mind, or based upon a person or upon conduct: We admire the high ideals of a religious person. Sir Philip Sidney was considered the ideal in gentlemanly conduct. An example is a person or the conduct or achievements of a person regarded as worthy of being followed or imitated in a general way; or sometimes, as properly to be avoided: an example of courage; a bad example to one's children. A model is primarily a physical shape to be closely copied, but is also a pattern for exact imitation in conduct or character: They took their leader as a model. 4. intention, objective. 7. perfect, consummate, complete. 9. illusory, imaginary, fanciful, fantastic.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for ideal
  • He showed the romance of its past, the nobility of its ideal, the purity of its forms of prayer.
  • To this faith, founded in the ideal, let us hold-and never abandon or lose it.
  • His ultimate political ideal included nothing short of the welfare and the commercial federation of the world.
  • In every case, the ideal carefully avoided any appearance of thoroughness outside the domestic arts.
  • Ask students to list some of the things they would want to have in their ideal town.
  • Berries and cherries, with their high juice content, are ideal for ink making.
  • It would be ideal if students could draw their diagrams on large pieces of construction paper.
  • Four-wheel drives or all-weather tires are also ideal for navigating slippery and snowy roads.
  • Space, they say, is the ideal place to gather energy from the sun.
  • Stretch panels in the elbows make it ideal for a variety of outdoor activities.
British Dictionary definitions for ideal

ideal

/aɪˈdɪəl/
noun
1.
a conception of something that is perfect, esp that which one seeks to attain
2.
a person or thing considered to represent perfection he's her ideal
3.
something existing only as an idea
4.
a pattern or model, esp of ethical behaviour
adjective
5.
conforming to an ideal
6.
of, involving, or existing in the form of an idea
7.
(philosophy)
  1. of or relating to a highly desirable and possible state of affairs
  2. of or relating to idealism
Derived Forms
ideality (ˌaɪdɪˈælɪtɪ) noun
ideally, adverb
idealness, noun
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 ideal
adj.

early 15c., "pertaining to an archetype or model," from Late Latin idealis "existing in idea," from Latin idea in the Platonic sense (see idea). Sense of "perfect" first recorded 1610s.

n.

"perfect person or thing," 1796, in a translation of Kant, from ideal (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ideal in Medicine

ideal i·de·al (ī-dē'əl, ī-dēl')
n.

  1. A conception of something in its absolute perfection.

  2. One that is regarded as a standard or model of perfection or excellence.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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ideal in Technology

1. Ideal DEductive Applicative Language. A language by Pier Bosco and Elio Giovannetti combining Miranda and Prolog. Function definitions can have a guard condition (introduced by ":-") which is a conjunction of equalities between arbitrary terms, including functions. These guards are solved by normal Prolog resolution and unification. It was originally compiled into C-Prolog but was eventually to be compiled to K-leaf.
2. A numerical constraint language written by Van Wyk of Stanford in 1980 for typesetting graphics in documents. It was inspired partly by Metafont and is distributed as part of Troff.
["A High-Level Language for Specifying Pictures", C.J. Van Wyk, ACM Trans Graphics 1(2):163-182 (Apr 1982)].
(1994-12-15)

theory
In domain theory, a non-empty, downward closed subset which is also closed under binary least upper bounds. I.e. anything less than an element is also an element and the least upper bound of any two elements is also an element.
(1997-09-26)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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