Word of the Day Archive
Monday March 8, 2004
idyll \EYE-dl\ , noun:
1. A simple descriptive work, either in poetry or prose, dealing with simple, rustic life; pastoral scenes; and the like.
2. A narrative poem treating an epic, romantic, or tragic theme.
3. A lighthearted carefree episode or experience.
4. A romantic interlude.
Sheep are not the docile, pleasant creatures of the pastoral idyll. Any countryman will tell you that. They are sly, occasionally vicious, pathologically stupid.
-- Joanne Harris, Chocolat
From too much looking back, he was destroyed, . . . trying to re-create an idyll that never truly existed except in his own imagination.
-- Gore Vidal, The Essential Gore Vidal
She kept a diary that poignantly captured the sense of youthful gaiety shattered by events suddenly intruding on their teenage idyll.
-- James T. Fisher, Dr. America
The Guevaras' honeymoon idyll, such as it was, did not last long.
-- Jon Lee Anderson, Che Guevara : A Revolutionary Life
Idyll ultimately derives from Greek eidullion, "a short descriptive poem (usually on pastoral subjects); an idyll," from eidos, "that which is seen; form; shape; figure." The adjective form is idyllic.