Word of the Day

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

beau ideal

\boh-ay-DEEL\ , noun;
plural beau ideals
A perfect or an idealized type or model.
Their commentaries inspired generations of schoolboys to pen compositions in praise of the Spartan lad who flinched not as the fox gnawed his vitals, and shaped the American beau ideal of the "strong silent type."
-- Florence King, "Oh, Sparta!", National Review, September 12, 1994
To the populace, of course, Hindenburg remains the national hero and beau ideal; nay, almost the national Messiah.
-- H.L. Mencken, "Ludendorff", The Atlantic, June 1917
Beau ideal is from the French beau idéal, "ideal beauty."
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