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idol

[ahyd-l] /ˈaɪd l/
noun
1.
an image or other material object representing a deity to which religious worship is addressed.
2.
Bible.
  1. an image of a deity other than God.
  2. the deity itself.
3.
any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, or devotion:
Madame Curie had been her childhood idol.
4.
a mere image or semblance of something, visible but without substance, as a phantom.
5.
a figment of the mind; fantasy.
6.
a false conception or notion; fallacy.
Origin
1200-1250
1200-50; Middle English < Late Latin īdōlum < Greek eídōlon image, idol, derivative of eîdos shape, form
Can be confused
idle, idol, idyll (see synonym study at idle)
Synonyms
1. See image. 3. favorite, darling, pet.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for idols
  • Enthusiasm for new ideas had a corollary-the denigration of past idols.
  • His office is adorned with portraits of two of his political idols.
  • All soaps these days, for instance, have websites where fans can touch base with their idols between episodes.
  • idols, those interchangeable performers, are the bread and butter of the music business.
  • Yes, it's disappointing to learn that one of your literary idols doesn't share your values.
  • To him, they were idols possessed by evil spirits, and he concluded that they required handling by prayer and exorcism.
  • All pre-teens have their idols, but growing up an emerging nerd, my fixation was typically out of step with my peers.
  • On the whole, the public shows good taste in its choice of idols.
  • Today, compliments from rock idols mean more to the actor than cash.
  • And he is quick to disabuse anyone of the illusions they may have about their idols.
British Dictionary definitions for idols

idol

/ˈaɪdəl/
noun
1.
a material object, esp a carved image, that is worshipped as a god
2.
(Christianity, Judaism) any being (other than the one God) to which divine honour is paid
3.
a person who is revered, admired, or highly loved
Word Origin
C13: from Late Latin īdōlum, from Latin: image, from Greek eidōlon, from eidos shape, 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 idols

idol

n.

mid-13c., "image of a deity as an object of (pagan) worship," from Old French idole "idol, graven image, pagan god," from Late Latin idolum "image (mental or physical), form," used in Church Latin for "false god," from Greek eidolon "appearance, reflection in water or a mirror," later "mental image, apparition, phantom," also "material image, statue," from eidos "form" (see -oid). Figurative sense of "something idolized" is first recorded 1560s (in Middle English the figurative sense was "someone who is false or untrustworthy"). Meaning "a person so adored" is from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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idols in the Bible

(1.) Heb. aven, "nothingness;" "vanity" (Isa. 66:3; 41:29; Deut. 32:21; 1 Kings 16:13; Ps. 31:6; Jer. 8:19, etc.). (2.) 'Elil, "a thing of naught" (Ps. 97:7; Isa. 19:3); a word of contempt, used of the gods of Noph (Ezek. 30:13). (3.) 'Emah, "terror," in allusion to the hideous form of idols (Jer. 50:38). (4.) Miphletzeth, "a fright;" "horror" (1 Kings 15:13; 2 Chr. 15:16). (5.) Bosheth, "shame;" "shameful thing" (Jer. 11:13; Hos. 9:10); as characterizing the obscenity of the worship of Baal. (6.) Gillulim, also a word of contempt, "dung;" "refuse" (Ezek. 16:36; 20:8; Deut. 29:17, marg.). (7.) Shikkuts, "filth;" "impurity" (Ezek. 37:23; Nah. 3:6). (8.) Semel, "likeness;" "a carved image" (Deut. 4:16). (9.) Tselem, "a shadow" (Dan. 3:1; 1 Sam. 6:5), as distinguished from the "likeness," or the exact counterpart. (10.) Temunah, "similitude" (Deut. 4:12-19). Here Moses forbids the several forms of Gentile idolatry. (11.) 'Atsab, "a figure;" from the root "to fashion," "to labour;" denoting that idols are the result of man's labour (Isa. 48:5; Ps. 139:24, "wicked way;" literally, as some translate, "way of an idol"). (12.) Tsir, "a form;" "shape" (Isa. 45:16). (13.) Matztzebah, a "statue" set up (Jer. 43:13); a memorial stone like that erected by Jacob (Gen. 28:18; 31:45; 35:14, 20), by Joshua (4:9), and by Samuel (1 Sam. 7:12). It is the name given to the statues of Baal (2 Kings 3:2; 10:27). (14.) Hammanim, "sun-images." Hamman is a synonym of Baal, the sun-god of the Phoenicians (2 Chr. 34:4, 7; 14:3, 5; Isa. 17:8). (15.) Maskith, "device" (Lev. 26:1; Num. 33:52). In Lev. 26:1, the words "image of stone" (A.V.) denote "a stone or cippus with the image of an idol, as Baal, Astarte, etc." In Ezek. 8:12, "chambers of imagery" (maskith), are "chambers of which the walls are painted with the figures of idols;" comp. ver. 10, 11. (16.) Pesel, "a graven" or "carved image" (Isa. 44:10-20). It denotes also a figure cast in metal (Deut. 7:25; 27:15; Isa. 40:19; 44:10). (17.) Massekah, "a molten image" (Deut. 9:12; Judg. 17:3, 4). (18.) Teraphim, pl., "images," family gods (penates) worshipped by Abram's kindred (Josh. 24:14). Put by Michal in David's bed (Judg. 17:5; 18:14, 17, 18, 20; 1 Sam. 19:13). "Nothing can be more instructive and significant than this multiplicity and variety of words designating the instruments and inventions of idolatry."

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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